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Diving into the depths: New York Mets

This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. New York Mets Rotation 1. Johan Santana 2. John Maine 3. Mike Pelfrey 4. Oliver Perez 5. Fernando Nieve 6. Jon Niese 7. Pat Misch 8. Nelson Figueroa 9. Tobi Stoner 10. Josh Fogg 11. Bobby Parnell 12. Elmer Dessens 13. Jack Egbert 14. R.A. Dickey 15. Jenrry Mejia It’s hard to believe the Mets are really about to enter spring training with that rotation. Sure, there’s considerable upside, but Santana is coming off elbow surgery, Maine has had shoulder problems, Pelfrey had a 5.03 ERA last year and Perez is the biggest question mark of them all. Nieve is supposed to enter spring training with a leg up on Niese, though that makes little sense to me. Nieve does have the talent to help the Mets as a starter, but he hasn’t turned in a healthy season since 2005. Bullpen 1. Francisco Rodriguez 2. Kelvim Escobar 3. Pedro Feliciano 4. Ryota Igarashi 5. Bobby Parnell 6. Sean Green 7. Nelson Figueroa 8. Pat Misch 9. Fernando Nieve 10. Josh Fogg 11. R.A. Dickey 12. Clint Everts 13. Jack Egbert 14. Tobi Stoner 15. Elmer Dessens 16. Eddie Kunz 17. Arturo Lopez 18. Jay Marshall The Mets opened up some additional bullpen competition by trading Brian Stokes for Gary Matthews Jr. They do have plenty of depth, particularly when it comes to swingmen. Figueroa, Misch, Nieve, Fogg, Dickey and Dessens are all capable of moving back and forth between the rotation and the pen. Still, they’re going to be hurting in the seventh and eighth innings if neither Escobar nor Igarashi comes through.

Catcher 1. Omir Santos 2. Henry Blanco 3. Josh Thole 4. Chris Coste First base 1. Daniel Murphy 2. Fernando Tatis 3. Frank Catalanotto 4. Mike Hessman 5. Ike Davis 6. Nick Evans 7. Chris Carter 8. Mike Cervenak Second base 1. Luis Castillo 2. Alex Cora 3. Anderson Hernandez 4. Fernando Tatis 5. Russ Adams Shortstop 1. Jose Reyes 2. Alex Cora 3. Anderson Hernandez 4. Andy Green Third base 1. David Wright 2. Fernando Tatis 3. Mike Hessman 4. Mike Cervenak 5. Shawn Bowman The Mets should be among the worst in the league at catcher and first base. Perhaps second base, too, unless Castillo can bounce back a bit defensively. I like Tatis, but the Mets probably would have been better off paying the price for Carlos Delgado and pushing Murphy into a reserve role. Left field 1. Jason Bay 2. Angel Pagan 3. Gary Matthews Jr. 4. Fernando Tatis 5. Frank Catalanotto 6. Daniel Murphy 7. Fernando Martinez 8. Nick Evans 9. Chris Carter Center field 1. Carlos Beltran 2. Angel Pagan 3. Gary Matthews Jr. 4. Fernando Martinez Right field 1. Jeff Francoeur 2. Angel Pagan 3. Gary Matthews Jr. 4. Fernando Martinez 5. Fernando Tatis Pagan deserves every opportunity to start in center field while Beltran is out at the beginning of the year. It’d be bad news for the Mets if Matthews hits .400 this spring and wins the job.