VIERA, Fla. - With just two days remaining until the club leaves Florida, general manager Sandy Alderson said yesterday that the Mets are "pretty close" to making a decision about their roster.
Yet, plenty of questions remain unanswered. Consider the situation at first base, where Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have spent the final days of camp competing for the starting job.
"Right now, I expect both of them to be on the team," Alderson said. "Who's going to be playing first base? I couldn't tell you at this point. We haven't decided."
The Mets appear ready to carry both at least through April 11-13, when they'll need a designated hitter against the Angels in Anaheim.
Davis was 0-for-3 in Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Nationals, dropping his spring average to .250. Duda is hitting .200. Both are scheduled to play Wednesday against the Astros, with Duda at first base and Davis at DH.
The picture in centerfield also appears murky. Alderson acknowledged that Juan Lagares is the team's best defensive option but reiterated concerns about his offense.
"If he were to start in centerfield on Opening Day, we'd have to see over a period of time, how long or how short I don't know, he can carry the offensive side of the game as well," Alderson said. "If that's not the case, then typically a guy like that would be better off playing every day somewhere else [in the minors]."
In the bullpen, Vic Black's spring struggles may still cost him a spot on the Opening Day roster. Though Black threw 11/3 scoreless innings against the Nationals, manager Terry Collins said he consistently fell behind in the count.
Black, 25, pitched well after he was traded from the Pirates late last season. But he has posted a 5.79 ERA while struggling with his command this spring.
"We have to take everything into account," Alderson said. "But we're not ignoring spring training performance." Extra bases
Bobby Parnell allowed a home run in one inning. But his fastball was clocked at 90-92 mph. "He looks fine, to be honest," said Collins, who believes Parnell's velocity will increase . . . In his final tuneup, Zack Wheeler allowed five runs in 22/3 innings, including a homer to Bryce Harper. He finished with a 3.86 ERA in the spring . . . The Mets expect to re-sign Kyle Farnsworth to a minor-league deal.
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