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April 5, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Adam Rubin

Adam Rubin
  (12:01 PM)

Thanks for joining me. Braves are finishing batting practice at the new-look Citi Field. About 70 minutes to first pitch ...

Rich (Bradenton, Fla)

Will the Mets get 81 wins this year or will it be pitching or hitting that keeps them from getting to .500?

Adam Rubin
  (12:03 PM)

I predicted 71 wins and fifth place. I actually think the rotation will be OK, but the division is very strong. And the Mets just don't have the depth to withstand any injuries. The bullpen did not have a good showing in the spring. If the Mets are to make any noise this year, Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey will need to perform well.

Ron (Tempe)

Adam, are Familia and Mejia both starting the season in Buffalo? Do you suspect each will spend the whole season there?

Adam Rubin
  (12:04 PM)

Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia start the first two games for Buffalo. Jenrry Mejia is progressing fine from May 2011 Tommy John surgery, but won't be in games until next month. I can foresee Mejia being in the Mets' bullpen during the second half. Harvey needs more development time, but I bet we see him at some point this season, even if it's September. Terry Collins says if he's the best starter at Buffalo when a need arises, he'll get the call-up.

mike beachwood [via mobile]

Do you think they would bench jayson bay if he continues to hit like he did in the spring

Adam Rubin
  (12:05 PM)

Terry Collins said during his pregame media exchange with reporters that he did not know where the talk of even platooning Bay came from. The bottom line is that Bay should slide to sixth in the lineup after the first series, with Ike Davis and Lucas Duda stacked ahead of him. The Mets would need an alternative to Bay in order to reduce his playing time drastically. Right now, that alternative does not exist.

Ira (Long Island)

With the rumored Niese deal and Sandy telling Joe and Evan this morning that they could definitely add a piece at the trade deadline if they needed to, do you think the money situation is now on the backburner?

Adam Rubin
  (12:07 PM)

Nope. If they're in a position to add at the trading deadline, that means they're doing well on the field and attendance is probably better than expected as a result. But the full expectation is the team will struggle in the division and attendance (and revenue) will be down. Much of the $240M equity infusion went toward paying down debt. I expect cash flow to remain a problem and the Mets' payroll not to drift too much higher -- maybe no more than $100 million -- for the next two years or so.

Ron (Tempe)

Is Francisco the closer today? Is he fully healthy?

Adam Rubin
  (12:08 PM)

Fully healthy and closer are two different questions. Is he the closer on Opening Day? Yes. Is the knee probably a little bit of an issue at least? Yes, as well. He had the knee drained and a cortisone shot Sunday. He then threw a bullpen session. But he has not been in a game since last Saturday, I believe.

Duda ... (NYC)

What do you expect from me this year? 270 avg with 29 HRs?

Adam Rubin
  (12:09 PM)

.280, 26 HR

Matt (NY)

With Opening Day failing to sell out, are you willing to revise your prediction that attendance will top 2.5 million? I predict under 2, and that's including fudged attendance numbers. Time to hit the owners where it hurts.

Adam Rubin
  (12:10 PM)

I don't think I predicted 2.5 million in attendance. It was 2.3 million last season, and I expect it to be lower this year. I don't think Opening Day is going to be an indicator of anything anyway. One Mets executive said this morning that they had, as of 7 a.m., sold at least 40,000 tickets for the opener.

Matt (NY)

Which team comes back to respectability first, the Mets or the Islanders?

Adam Rubin
  (12:11 PM)

Mets. Once that Wheeler-Harvey-Mejia-Familia group arrives and Bay and Santana come off the books at astronomical sums, things will get better. I've been waiting for the Islanders to be good since 1990 or so. Wasn't their marketing campaign back then, "The New Ice Age?"

Matt (Seattle)

Who looks like the leader of this team?

Adam Rubin
  (12:12 PM)

Not sure there really is one anymore. I suppose Johan Santana and David Wright.

Ron (Tempe)

Are the Braves the 4th best team in the division? They always seem to play better than their talent.

Adam Rubin
  (12:13 PM)

If the Mets are to finish ahead of anyone in the division, it very well could be the Braves. It speaks to the strength of the division that Atlanta is widely predicted to finish fourth in the NL East. And they were poised to be a playoff team last year before the late collapse.

Ron (Tempe)

There is a pitch count for Santana today, correct? Did Collins say what the number is?

Adam Rubin
  (12:14 PM)

Santana should be in the 85- to 90-pitch range today.

Paul (NYC)

I think the Mets made a mistake with Stinson. They could have put at least one of Beato or Carrasco on the 60 day dl or put Satin on waivers who is 28 years old and basically is a duplicate of Zach Lutz.

Adam Rubin
  (12:14 PM)

I like Josh Satin, but I would agree on that observation. Nick Evans cleared all those times. I have to believe Satin would have as well.

Josh Burton (Long Island)

If Mets are out of playoff race by July, do you see them being major sellers at trade deadline or just staying pat?

Adam Rubin
  (12:16 PM)

There's a limit to what they have to sell. I don't believe they'll trade David Wright. Pelfrey could go. But if the Mets are struggling, it's probably because Pelfrey is not contributing.

AngriestMember (Weehawken)

If Santana is doing well thru June do you think that they'll entertain offers?

Adam Rubin
  (12:17 PM)

They'd be happy to entertain offers. But Santana is owed $31 million alone in 2013, with the 2014 buyout. No one is going to touch that. Not even half that.

Tim (Poughkeepsie)

What do we know about Torres? Are there any habits to watch for that could indicate whether he's "right" or not at the plate?

Adam Rubin
  (12:18 PM)

He's supposedly an above-average center fielder, but he missed time in spring training, so I haven't had a chance to observe it firsthand. We'll see about his plate discipline. His on-base percentage was very low last year, especially for a leadoff hitter.

Adam Rubin
  (12:19 PM)

Thanks for joining me.