PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Thanks to a wealth of prospects on the brink of breaking through, help won't be too far away in case a need arises for the Mets.
General manager Sandy Alderson said promising catching prospect Kevin Plawecki will see some time at first base while at Triple-A Las Vegas. "Ideally, we'd like him to get a little more time at Triple-A, but he's close," Alderson said Friday.
Plawecki is blocked by Travis d'Arnaud, 26, who rebounded from a brutal start to seize the everyday catching duties heading into camp. But if d'Arnaud were to get hurt, Alderson said Plawecki would be the first called up.
Gaining experience at first base could bolster Plawecki's chances of a call-up.
Pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Steven Matz (Ward Melville) have emerged as prospects who could see action in the major leagues this season.
With a crowded starting rotation, the most likely openings would come in the bullpen. Alderson said Montero will be considered for a bullpen role early in the season. Syndergaard and Matz will remain in Triple-A to work as starters.
Syndergaard (11th), Matz (33rd) and Plawecki (63rd) were among seven Mets minor-leaguers recently ranked among Baseball America's top 100 prospects.
Manager Terry Collins is expected back in camp Saturday after the death of his father, Loren . . . Reliever Buddy Carlyle has an out clause in his contract that he can exercise if he does not make the major-league team for Opening Day. Carlyle, 37, had a 1.45 ERA in 27 appearances with the Mets last season and signed a minor-league deal during the offseason. Carlyle also has an out clause he can activate in June.