<
>

Roster set: Buddy Carlyle, Sean Gilmartin in; Eric Campbell out

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The New York Mets set their Opening Day roster on Saturday with a balance of eight relievers and four bench players.

Utility player Eric Campbell became the casualty of that nontraditional balance. He will head to Triple-A Las Vegas with the other final cuts: infielders Danny Muno and Matt Reynolds, catcher Johnny Monell, and right-handers Zack Thornton and Erik Goeddel.

Daniel Murphy will be active on Opening Day. He played second base in another minor league game on Saturday morning in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as he works back from a pulled right hamstring.

Pitchers Vic Black, Bobby Parnell, Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin will be placed on the disabled list on Sunday.

Wheeler and Edgin will miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery during spring training. Black may be back as soon as April 12, when he is eligible to return from a backdated DL stint for shoulder weakness. Parnell, in the final stages of a return from Tommy John surgery, is expected back within a few weeks. Black and Parnell pitched in minor league games Saturday.

The official 25-man roster:

Starting pitchers (5): Bartolo Colon, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee

Relievers (8): Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Carlos Torres, Jerry Blevins, Alex Torres, Rafael Montero, Sean Gilmartin and Buddy Carlyle

Starting position players (8): Travis d'Arnaud, Lucas Duda, Murphy, David Wright, Wilmer Flores, Michael Cuddyer, Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson

Bench (4): Anthony Recker, Ruben Tejada, John Mayberry Jr. and Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Campbell was respectful. He may have sensed the demotion coming once word filtered out Friday that the Mets may carry only four bench players. He enters Saturday's final day of exhibition play hitting .255 with two homers and nine RBIs in 55 at-bats.

"Very disappointed," Campbell labeled his emotions. "It is what it is. I'm happy with the way I played. I worked my butt off this offseason to make the Opening Day roster. It's not going to happen, but hopefully it's just one of those things where I go down, play hard for however long they want me to, and I'm back up here. ... I'm the odd-man out, I guess. I think I'm the only position player with options, or something like that. That's the way it works sometimes."

Campbell also learned how to catch during spring training. He said he would be comfortable completing a major league game at the position.

"I'm not going to be Trav, Recker or Monell back there, but I can do what I need to do to keep the ball in front of me," Campbell said.

Gilmartin and Carlyle were the big winners in deciding to carry eight bullpen members.

A Rule 5 pick from the Minnesota Twins, the left-handed Gilmartin will need to stay at the major league level the entire season to officially become the Mets' property. That's how the Mets got full rights to Pedro Beato in 2011. Gilmartin had a 4.22 ERA in 11 spring training appearances through Friday. He picked up momentum after moving to the first-base side of the rubber, which made it more difficult for lefty hitters against his slider. He also got acclimated with working in relief as spring training progressed after serving as a starting pitcher in the minors.

"It's a whole different thought process mentally and physically," Gilmartin said.

The Mets did not want to risk losing the 37-year-old Carlyle, who had an out in his contract at the end of spring training if he failed to make the Opening Day roster.

Carlyle had seemed doomed once the Mets made the March 30 trades for Blevins and Alex Torres.

"Playing for a long time and going through a lot of different situations, you kind of just learn to trust, and whatever is going to happen is going to happen. It's really out of your control," Carlyle said. "I know it's kind of cliche and it's what everybody says, but as I've gotten older, I've definitely learned not to pay too much attention to that stuff. Twenty years of experience and you start to realize that there's a lot more pressing issues in people's lives than what's going on with mine right now."

Of course, something will need to give bullpen-wise once Black and then Parnell are activated from the DL. And the Mets cannot permanently go with an eight-man bullpen at the expense of a short bench.