KISSIMMIEE, Fla. -- Terry Collins confirmed Thursday that the Mets "most likely" intend to take two left-handed relievers north, making the Opening Day roster much more clear with respect to the pitching staff.
Josh Edgin, after his rookie-season success, had one spot all along and appears in no jeopardy. The second spot will come from Pedro Feliciano, Robert Carson and Scott Rice -- with that seemingly the order of likelihood.
"I want two lefties in the pen due to the fact there's some key guys you've got to get out in some big situations, and they're left-handed," Collins said about the division.
Feliciano had the inside track from the get-go, but needs to demonstrate he can sustain velocity, particularly on the second day or back-to-back appearances.
There should not be much late suspense about whether Feliciano makes the roster. The decision is due by Tuesday. Because he was on a major league roster all of last year and is in camp on a minor league deal, the Mets are obligated to tell Feliciano whether he made the roster five days before Opening Day. Otherwise, the Mets must release Feliciano or give him a $100,000 bonus to remain with the organization in the minors.
Carson seemingly otherwise has a distinct advantage over Rice. The Mets already need to free 40-man roster spots for Marlon Byrd, Scott Atchison and LaTroy Hawkins in all likelihood. Selecting Carson, who is on the 40-man roster, over Rice would alleviate the need to clear another spot.
Fellow left-hander Aaron Laffey appears ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas as a starter to serve as the primary rotation insurance should another starting pitcher become unavailable.