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2018 Mets preview: Lineup, rotation, predictions, more

Baseball is back in Queens and Metro NY takes a look at all things Mets.
Yoenis Cespedes. (Photo: Getty Images)

Where there is brash expectancy in the Bronx and the crosstown rival Yankees, there is cautious optimism surrounding the New York Mets heading into the 2018 Major League Baseball season. 

The Queens residents are shaking off a difficult 2017 season in which injuries eliminated any chance of the team making the postseason for an unprecedented third-straight season. 

But the familiar saying of "hope springs eternal," has swept its way through the corridors at Citi Field. Starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz are healthy and will be featured in the same rotation at the same time, providing the promise of domination under new manager and former Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway. 

Should the arms stay healthy and fulfill the visions of grandeur laid before them years ago, an offense led by Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce will have far less pressure on its shoulders. 

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For 2018 season predictions, click here.

Let's meet the 2018 Mets:

New York Mets Opening Day 25-man roster

Jerry Blevins- LHP

Jacob deGrom- RHP

Jeurys Familia- RHP 

Robert Gsellman- RHP

Matt Harvey- RHP

Seth Lugo- RHP

Steven Matz- LHP

AJ Ramos- RHP

Jacob Rhame- RHP

Anthony Swarzak- RHP

Noah Syndergaard- RHP

Travis d'Arnaud- C

Kevin PLawecki- C

Asdrubal Cabrera- 2B

Phillip Evans- UT

Wilmer Flores- 1B/UT

Todd Frazier- 3B

Adrian Gonzalez- 1B

Jose Reyes- UT

Amed Rosario- SS

Jay Bruce- RF

Yoenis Cespedes- LF

Juan Lagares- CF

Brandon Nimmo- CF

 

Mets projected starters, 2018 numbers

Catcher: Travis d'Arnaud- .261, 15 HR, 60 RBI, Kevin Plawecki- .280, 7 HR, 33 RBI

Strong spring trainings from both Plawecki and d'Arnaud will force Callaway to split time between the catchers. D'Arnaud will likely see a lion's share of the time regardless as his new and improved swing could see the 29-year-old become the franchise catcher the Mets have been waiting for.

 

1st Base: Wilmer Flores- .270, 16 HR, 55 RBI, Adrian Gonzalez- .259, 9 HR, 38 RBI

The veteran Gonzalez was expected to be the team's starting first baseman after Dominic Smith's quad injury held him out for most of the spring. However, a .207 batting average left the door open for Wilmer Flores to platoon with him. Flores will start at first against lefties.

 

2nd Base: Asdrubal Cabrera- .263, 17 HR, 64 RBI

Cabrera has come a long way from wanting to be traded away from the Mets last year. Naturally a shortstop, Cabrera has been forced to take the starting role at second now that Amed Rosario is up with the big club full-time.

 

3rd Base: Todd Frazier- .212, 28 HR, 79 RBI

The Mets entered another offseason with questions at third base due to David Wright's injury saga. Frazier provides a power bat with 40-home-run potential despite not hitting for average. Expect to see him in the bottom half of the lineup.

 

Shortstop: Amed Rosario- .259, 9 HR, 51 RBI

The future is now for Rosario. After a brief six-week MLB debut to end last season, the young shortstop will have to prove to the organization that he can be a cornerstone to build upon for the coming years. That means showing more patience at the plate, getting his on-base percentage up and developing into a top-of-the-order talent.

 

Left Field: Yoenis Cespedes- .293, 31 HR, 96 RBI

It's time for the Mets' biggest bat to step up in 2018. After dealing with hamstring injuries for a majority of last season, Cespedes has plenty to prove this summer as he will be tasked in carrying the Mets lineup as their expected No. 2 hitter. 

 

Center Field: Juan Lagares- .248, 4 HR, 32 RBI, Brandon Nimmo- .262, 7 HR, 53 RBI

With Michael Conforto on the disabled list until May 1, the center-field spot is up for grabs. Nimmo's strong exhibition season has made him the clear choice as the team's lead-off man, but Lagares' defense will keep him in the fray.

 

Right Field: Jay Bruce- .255, 29 HR, 81 RBI

Bruce might prove to be the team's most vital signing this offseason. The veteran has already shown that he can succeed in Queens and will add valuable support for Cespedes in the middle of New York's lineup. Don't be surprised if you see him playing some first base, too.

 

Starting Rotation: 

Noah Syndergaard- 18-6, 2.95 ERA, 225 K's

Jacob deGrom- 15-7, 3.14 ERA, 210 K's

Matt Harvey- 11-9, 3.72 ERA, 180 K's

Steven Matz- 7-10, 4.36 ERA, 124 K's

Seth Lugo- 5-2, 3.97 ERA, 75 K's