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Mets' NLDS roster projection 1.0

Whether to keep Jonathon Niese as a left-hander in the bullpen is among the roster decisions facing the Mets. Nate Shron/Getty Images

CINCINNATI -- So what will the 25-man playoff roster look like for the New York Mets in the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Let’s start with the easy stuff ...

The rotation certainly seems like it is headed in the direction of using the four young pitchers:

1. Jacob deGrom

2. Matt Harvey

3. Noah Syndergaard

4. Steven Matz

And there are three obvious selections to lead the back end of the bullpen:

5. Jeurys Familia

6. Tyler Clippard

7. Addison Reed

How many pitchers will the Mets carry? Remember, the Mets will not play more than two consecutive days in the Division Series, so conceivably the relievers could be used every game if the situations demand. Still, it is hard to envision the Mets going with fewer than seven relievers.

The next question: Assuming the four young starters are in the rotation, does Jonathon Niese join Bartolo Colon as a bullpen arm? Since the Mets seemingly cannot rely on Eric O’Flaherty, and since Dario Alvarez is still mending a groin strain and might be unavailable, the hunch is that Colon and Niese make the NLDS roster, since the Mets otherwise might not have a lefty relief arm. Colon could soak up multiple innings if a starter goes short.

8. Colon

9. Niese

That potentially would leave two spots for consideration among Hansel Robles, Erik Goeddel, Sean Gilmartin, Carlos Torres and Logan Verrett. Could Gilmartin trump Niese because he has experience in the bullpen, whereas Niese does not? Sure. But lefties are hitting .264 and righties are hitting .220 against Gilmartin this season, so let’s stick with giving the nod to Niese. After all, Gilmartin’s primary function is a multi-inning role that Colon would absorb anyway.

The Mets should tip their hand after clinching, assuming they start to introduce Niese to relief work. For now, let’s round out an 11-man pitching staff with:

10. Robles

11. Goeddel

That leaves off Gilmartin, Torres and Verrett as well as O’Flaherty, the injured Alvarez, Bobby Parnell and Tim Stauffer.

Manager Terry Collins’ lineup on Saturday against Cincinnati Reds left-hander John Lamb should be instructive, since Collins has pledged to use his lefty batters in the game. The Mets might see three different southpaws in the Division Series: Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood.

Let’s forgo the discussion about who starts for the Mets and just list the locks for the roster (assuming Juan Uribe's chest injury does not linger another two weeks):

12. Travis d'Arnaud

13. Lucas Duda

14. Daniel Murphy

15. Wilmer Flores

16. Ruben Tejada

17. David Wright

18. Uribe

19. Michael Conforto

20. Michael Cuddyer

21. Yoenis Cespedes

22. Curtis Granderson

By carrying 11 pitchers instead of 12, the Mets can sneak an extra position player onto the roster compared with the regular season. So there are room for three more players in that scenario. You’d figure Kevin Plawecki gets the nod over Anthony Recker as the backup catcher:

23. Plawecki

Unless the Mets shed another reliever and go with a six-man bullpen, that leaves two spots, with seemingly three candidates: Kelly Johnson, Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr.

Do the Mets prioritize Young’s ability to pinch run over Lagares’ coming in as a defensive replacement? Do you really need a defensive replacement anyway? Or should the Mets carry the speedy Young and the Gold Glover Lagares and forget about the extra lefty pinch-hit bat with Johnson, since you will already presumably have Conforto on the bench most of the series anyway? This is the shakiest prediction of them all, but let’s leave off Lagares, who has had a quiet September:

24. Young

25. Johnson

Where do you agree/disagree?