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Projecting the Mets' bench players

The Amazin's backup troops could get thrown into the fire early -- but how often?

Updated: March 31, 2011, 10:34 AM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

The New York Mets' bench will receive more early duty than originally expected. Jason Bay's rib-cage strain and Carlos Beltran's gimpy knees mean not only is Lucas Duda coming along as, presumably, a regular player in Bay's absence. It also means outfield newcomers Scott Hairston and Willie Harris should receive more than your average playing time for backups.

Meanwhile, catcher Mike Nickeas' stay may last more than the eight games Ronny Paulino has left on his MLB suspension. Paulino's ...

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