Mets pitcher Tylor Megill works on fielding practice for pitchers...

Mets pitcher Tylor Megill works on fielding practice for pitchers at spring training last month. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets’ off day on Monday marked the approximate halfway point of spring training, already three weeks down and three to go.

They still have a lot to learn in the lead-up to Opening Day on March 28, but camp has offered a few twists, none of them particularly positive. So it goes at this time of year.

For president of baseball operations David Stearns, the real decision-making has yet to begin. He said last month that he doesn’t “really start to drill down on that until we get to the second week of March and we see who is still healthy.” Naturally, health has raised several of the issues detailed below.

While acknowledging that the Mets have most of their exhibition slate remaining, here is our latest best shot at projecting the season-opening roster:

Projected rotation

1. LHP Jose Quintana

2. RHP Luis Severino

3. LHP Sean Manaea

4. RHP Adrian Houser

5. RHP Tylor Megill

The big blow here was Kodai Senga’s injury, a right shoulder strain that will keep him out through April at least.

Until the Mets offer reason to believe otherwise, pencil in Megill for that opening. They long have liked his big body and fastball, and now he has added a splitter that they are high on, too. They want it to work. He’s going to get another shot.

If another spot pops up, or if Megill’s next few weeks somehow become a total mess, Joey Lucchesi and Jose Butto are up next, not necessarily in that order.

Projected starters

6. C Francisco Alvarez

7. 1B Pete Alonso

8. 2B Jeff McNeil

9. 3B Brett Baty

10. SS Francisco Lindor

11. LF ‘sBrandon Nimmo

12. CF Harrison Bader

13. RF Starling Marte

14. DH Mark Vientos

The newest question here involves McNeil, who has not swung a bat for several days because of left biceps soreness. The Mets don’t think it’s a big deal. Manager Carlos Mendoza said they will reevaluate McNeil on Tuesday. If it still is bothering him, they probably will send him for an MRI.

For now, McNeil’s status for the start of the season isn’t in doubt. If that changes, it would create playing time for Joey Wendle and a roster spot for Zack Short (who is on the 40-man roster) or Jose Iglesias (who is not). Don’t plan to see Luisangel Acuna — whom the Mets sent to minor-league camp in their first round of cuts Sunday — particularly soon.


Projected bench

15. C Omar Narvaez

16. OF Tyrone Taylor

17. IF Joey Wendle

18. OF/DH DJ Stewart

Wendle’s status is slightly iffy. Right shoulder soreness has prevented him from getting into any games, but the Mets expect him to play by the end of the week.

The most interesting spot here is the last one. Stewart entered camp as the favorite for that bench bat/part-time DH role on the strength of his big July/August. But then the Mets signed a pair of first basemen/DHs in Ji Man Choi and Luke Voit.

Working in Stewart’s favor: He can play both corner outfield spots and has seen time at first base. If the Mets value defensive versatility for this job, he has an advantage.

Working against Stewart: The Mets are free to option him to the minors.

Choi and Voit said they have opt-outs in their contracts around the end of camp, which is common for experienced players on minor-league contracts.

A handful of Grapefruit League games isn’t enough to tip the scales in anybody’s favor, and Mets officials have said they don’t want to rely on exhibition performance. The righthanded-hitting Voit and lefthanded-hitting Choi had track records of offensive success until last year, when their struggles coincided with a solid run from the lefty-hitting Stewart.

“[Defensive versatility] matters, but it comes down to the whole 13 position players,” Mendoza said last week. “Who’s breaking camp with us? Who provides what? There’s a lot of different routes that we could go here. We’re still early in camp. I’m pretty sure we’ll start having these conversations as we move forward in the next couple of weeks. Again, we decide to go with versatility, defense or we’re looking for a lefty bat, righty bat — not sure where we’re going to be at when we’re having these conversations. A lot goes into it.”

Projected bullpen

19. RHP Edwin Diaz

20. RHP Adam Ottavino

21. LHP Brooks Raley

22. LHP Jake Diekman

23. RHP Jorge Lopez

24. RHP Drew Smith

25. RHP Michael Tonkin

26. RHP Yohan Ramirez

Barring injury, the Mets have two positions available.

Tonkin, who signed a split contract during the offseason and is on the 40-man roster, still looks like a safe bet for one.

We previously had Shintaro Fujinami slotted in for the other — and that still is possible — but instead, for now, take your pick of the out-of-options righthanders: Ramirez, Phil Bickford, Sean Reid-Foley.

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