Meet The 2008 Opening Day Mets

The 25 man roster has been announced and there’s a few surprises…

El Duque is on the 15 day DL (retrocative to 3/29) for the first of what I can only assume is several 2008 stints. In fact, Metsie wants to go on record as being the first to rename the DL the Duque List.

The Big PlelfThe biggest news on the 25 man is that in Duque’s place is none other than The Big Pelf, Mike Pelfrey!

In a somewhat surprising move, Willie, Omar, and The Jacket gave Pelfrey the # 5 starting spot. I thought Nelson Figueroa was going to get the nod, if Duque wasn’t deemed ready to go…and after Friday afternoon’s Duque performance of 4 hits & 1 earned run over 5 innings, I kinda thought Duque was ready to go.

Lets hope that Pelfrey can use this opportunity to step it up and finally become the major league quality starter we all hope/expect him to be. He has too much talent but needs to find the major league pitcher in himself. Pelfrey seemed to be on the right track last September, giving the Mets several good starts after being sent down to New Orleans to work on his game but he had a disapointing 2008 Spring Training.

Pelfrey is still young but at some point, the Mets will give up on him and the clock is ticking.

Figueroa has been sent to minor league camp, an assignment I am sure he will accept. Given Duque’s fragile octogenarian body and Pelfrey’s inconsistency, Nelson could get the call to pitch in Flushing at any time. Its hard for me not to root for Figueroa. Not only is he from Brooklyn (graduated from Lincoln High), but he went to the Jewish (but secular) Brandeis University.

Joe Smith once again will start the season with the big club, beating out Figueroa, Ricardo Rincon, & Matt Stokes for the bullpen spot that will (hopefully) be soon occupied by Duaner Sanchez, who is beginning the season on the 15 day DL (reteroactive to 3/27). Rincon was sent to the minors while Stokes was DFA’d.

Smith had a good spring and his hoping he can be more that the early 2007 flash-in-the-pan who spent the second half of the year at AAA.

Brady Clark, in a bit of a surprise, beat out Fernando Tatis, for the final spot on the bench. After the departure of Ruben Gotay via waivers, it seemed likely that Tatis was going to get the nod since he’s is a RH hitter and can (allegedly) play a bunch of positions. I’ve had my fill of Omar Minaya cronies who should be retired on this team (I’m looking at you, Julio Franco) and I am glad the Mets did the right thing here.

Ramon Castro is on the 15 day DL (retro to 3/21) and Raul Cassanova is on the roster in his place.

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