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March 7, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Adam Rubin

Adam Rubin
  (12:00 PM)

Thanks for joining me. Let's get started ...

Rich (Parsippany)

Any rumblings that we might take a chance on Brian Wilson??

Adam Rubin
  (12:01 PM)

The Mets got upset when they went out to see Brian Wilson and his rehab was so early he could only throw 20 pitches off a mound at light velocity. I doubt he ends up a Met anyway, but that would exacerbate it.

Jason (NJ)

The Mets do not need a 5th starter until April 7th. That gives Johan an extra week to be ready for the season. Do you think he can make that timeline or are we looking at Late April?

Adam Rubin
  (12:02 PM)

If Johan misses breaking camp with the team, the Mets can backdate the DL nine days into spring training as long as he appears in minor league rather than Grapefruit League games. So the seventh day of the season might be the point at which he starts if he opens the season on the DL.

Auggie (Manhattan)

Does Marlon Byrd have a legit shot at winning the starting CF job? Or is he incapable of anything but corner OF at this point in his career. Have been impressed with his hitting thus far.

Adam Rubin
  (12:04 PM)

Marlon Byrd is going to be a regular starter on this team. The original intention had Duda in LF, Cowgill and Nieuwenhuis platooning in CF and Byrd and Baxter sharing RF. But Byrd probably will play more than a true platoon player. Now, Kirk because of underperformance and injury may very well end up starting the season in Triple-A, with Jordany Valdespin on the roster. Against lefty pitching, I think it remains Cowgill in CF and Byrd in RF. But I think TC was experimenting with Byrd in CF yesterday in case Kirk isn't on team.

Scot (Washington, DC )

I haven't heard much about Matt Harvey yet. How is his camp going?

Adam Rubin
  (12:05 PM)

Going fine. He's a vet now, so to speak, now competing for a rotation spot. He faces the Marlins today at 1:10 p.m.

Michael (PHX, AZ)

What number will Wheeler wear when he gets to the majors?

Adam Rubin
  (12:05 PM)

I do not know.

Jamie (NYC)

Who is the #2 leader in the clubhouse behind David? As in, who's stepping up to lead the guys while David's gone? Ike? Johan?

Adam Rubin
  (12:05 PM)

I think we make too much of this stuff anyway. But Johan overall has been a positive force in recent years.

Rich (Parsippany)

How about signing Cano & Ellsbury as FA's next year...makes instant contenders with the young SPs we have...

Adam Rubin
  (12:06 PM)

I'm just a little skeptical the Mets will ever outbid the Yankees for a player the Yankees truly want.

Jimmy (NY)

Is the Mets brass (secretly) glad Ike didn't get invited to play in the WBC?

Adam Rubin
  (12:06 PM)

I'm sure virtually every team privately would like none of its players to participate.

Bill Metsiac (Medford, NY)

Valdespin, Flores, and Lutz---future Mets starters, or trade bait?

Adam Rubin
  (12:07 PM)

Potentially neither, but Flores would have the best chance at being a starter eventually. Scouts do like Valdespin a little, although the extracurriculars depress his value.

Bill Metsiac (Medford, NY)

Of course potential isn't reality (remember Gen K?), but IMO the combo of Harvey, Wheeler, Niese and Syndergaard has the chance to be the best rotation in Mets history, and in MLB 2 years from now and beyond. Your take?

Adam Rubin
  (12:08 PM)

If everything breaks the way the Mets script it, yes. But not every prospect materializes the way you envision.

Matt (Steinway)

So I was all set to start going to more games this year, but I'm concerned. Am I going to have to fend of Amway "IBOs" the entire game? I neither have the money to nor want to become an "IBO". Will there be any kind of protection in place so prevent me from being harassed?

Adam Rubin
  (12:09 PM)

I'd say there's strength in numbers, but the attendance is going to dip this year.

Jason (NJ)

What have the scouts been saying so far about Marlon Byrd? Classic spring training numbers mean nothing OR a chance to be a productive corner outfielder?

Adam Rubin
  (12:10 PM)

Been their most productive outfielder so far. One scout today said he actually can play center field. But I'm still leery given last year's production.

Pete (Queens)

If Duda proves to be an inadequate leftfielder...what's the Mets plan B?

Adam Rubin
  (12:10 PM)

In all seriousness, I don't think there is one. You can use Nieuwenhuis, Cowgill and Byrd, I suppose.

Todd (Garden City)

Even if Kirk is healthy, doesn't his performance thus far make him questionable to win a job?

Adam Rubin
  (12:11 PM)

If I had to bet, injury aside, I think Jordany Valdespin was heading toward beating him out anyway.

Todd (Garden City)

Is Justin Turner a lock for the roster? Or can Valdespin beat him out for his role?

Adam Rubin
  (12:13 PM)

Terry likes Turner, but I don't believe the front office does. They like players who take more pitches, although Turner gets unfairly criticized, I think, because he's mostly pinch-hitting. Kirk's injury/performance could swing Valdespin to the outfield. Otherwise, I think Turner would have been very much in trouble. They have to carry a shortstop (Quintanilla over Hicks, probably), so there's only room for one more backup infielder. And they need to open 40-man roster spots, too.

EPT (El Paso)

Omar Quintanilla has been playing well this spring and has shown he can play in the bigs. What do you think the chances are the Mets will keep him in the 40 man roster to start the season?

Adam Rubin
  (12:16 PM)

I firmly believe they'll put Brandon Hicks on waivers and give Quintanilla the backup shortstop role based on what I've seen.

Frank (New Orleans)

What will be the strength of the 2013 Mets?

Adam Rubin
  (12:16 PM)

Starting pitching, although in this division, it's only competent.

Andrew (North Jersey)

What are you most excited about going into this season?

Adam Rubin
  (12:17 PM)

Seeing Wheeler and d'Arnaud come up midseason.

James89 (NYC)

Once D'Arnaud gets the call-up, what are the chances they trade Buck away? He seems to fit in the clubhouse, personality wise, although he would obviously be an expensive backup.

Adam Rubin
  (12:18 PM)

It's possible, if he's doing well and the Mets have faded. But it also could be valuable to hold him as a veteran mentor. So I'll cop out at say: to be determined.

Brian (NYC)

Do you see any chance of the Mets making a late spring training trade? If so, what position do you think they would target?

Adam Rubin
  (12:18 PM)

Scouts don't seem to think they're in the market for anything, really. Just most likely to go with what they've got, even with this outfield.

Chris (NJ)

Can we get a Murphy update?

Adam Rubin
  (12:19 PM)

Swinging in a cage. Hasn't taken full batting practice yet, which would be the prerequisite to a game. I would expect sometime next week we'll see him playing.

Todd (Garden City)

Although his fielding has looked iffy, Bixler has looked good at the plate. Any chance he makes the squad?

Adam Rubin
  (12:19 PM)

Doubtful. Triple-A Las Vegas.

Bio (Manhattan)

Are Terry and Sandy optimistic about den Dekker developing as a hitter (lowering K totals, having smarter at-bats, etc.) in one more year in the minors so that he can have a legitimate shot to start next spring?

Adam Rubin
  (12:20 PM)

Don't know if they're optimistic, but it's the goal to get him to make more contact and improve his plate discipline. The fielding is ready now.

Matt (Steinway)

How concerned is Mets PR about a fan backlash coinciding with the All Star Game? They clearly don't care about negative local coverage, but if the ASG is a disaster, what will happen?

Adam Rubin
  (12:20 PM)

Why would the All-Star Game be a disaster?

Dan (NYC)

If Syndergaard ends up dominating the minors in Wheeler fashion (obviously a big if), how long until we see him in the majors? Any chance for next year or 2015 more likely?

Adam Rubin
  (12:21 PM)

He'll start this year in high-A St. Lucie, I would imagine. Best-case scenario is he advances to Binghamton in the second half. So we're talking late 2014 under the most optimal scenario in which we see Syndergaard in the majors, and that's a pretty aggressive timeline.

steve (oceanside)

a strong bullpen is truly key to our success .... go and get rodriguez or valverde to backup parnell if he fail .... whats your opinion ?

Adam Rubin
  (12:22 PM)

Valverde is so awful, the Tigers -- who desperately need a closer -- won't touch him.

Scot (Washington, DC )

What's the earliest projected date for Johan to enter the rotation?

Adam Rubin
  (12:22 PM)

Johan is supposed to pitch against the Tigers next Thursday. I still would bet DL to start the year, but it's not a foregone conclusion.

JAB555 (New York)

Why is Hefner always the first guy to get thrown in as the 5th starter in case of emergency, yet he never gets a full shot at a full-time rotation spot? Just because he's got a rubber arm? Why not either give him a full chance, or get rid of him so one of the hotter prospects can get a long look?

Adam Rubin
  (12:23 PM)

He's the best of the rest, typically what is referred to as a "4A" player. Someone who is useful as inventory, but not as a regular.

Dan (NYC)

Adam - based on your projections above, how do you see the opening day batting order shaping up? Tejada - Murph - Wright - Ike - Byrd? - Duda - Cowgill - Buck?

Adam Rubin
  (12:24 PM)

I need to check, but I believe we'll see a LH for the Padres on Opening Day. So let's try the righty-batting lineup. (We haven't seen Murphy yet, so I don't know precisely what TC is thinking.) Maybe: Cowgill, Murphy, Wright, Davis, Byrd, Duda, Buck, Tejada, Niese.

Ray (Dallas)

Adam what are your predictions for the Mets this yr?

Adam Rubin
  (12:25 PM)

Too soon for people to start getting angry with me.

Brian (Reading, PA)

A return to Queens for Krod sounds like an awful idea. Please tell me Sandy isn't considering this move.

Adam Rubin
  (12:25 PM)

Don't believe it's a consideration unless he wanted a minor league deal and no $, which ain't happening.

EPT (El Paso)

Do you think the Mets would consider moving Quintanilla to 2nd base and maybe start if he continues to get on base since the shortstop position is solid?

Adam Rubin
  (12:25 PM)

Over Murphy? No way.

Gabe (Tallahassee)

Is there any hope for outfield improvement (2014 or later) in house or are the Mets going to have to look via trade and free agency. Until that issue along with the bullpen is addressed, starting pitching and an average infield is all we have to hang our hopes on for the future.

Adam Rubin
  (12:26 PM)

They'll be introducing d'Arnaud and Wheeler in the next several months, but there's not a wave of position-player prospects coming soon. So quick competitiveness will be contingent upon how aggressive they become with free agency.

Eric (QUEENS)

After failing to pull the trigger on selling some pieces at the deadline in the past, besides Beltran for Wheeler, Do you think Sandy and his team will be aggressive in trading whatever has value and will not be part of the next NY Mets contender before this years deadline?

Adam Rubin
  (12:28 PM)

I would hope so. But there's no Beltran or Dickey left to trade in the final year of a deal, unless Santana has a serious resurgence. Buck or one of the relievers on a one-year contract (Hawkins, Atchison, Lyon, etc.) could end up being valuable to someone, but we're not talking the type of return those big trades commanded.

Ray (NYC)

Is there something to be said for the comparisons btwn Flores and Miggy Cabrera? Or is that just wishful thinking based on body type?

Adam Rubin
  (12:28 PM)

I was going to type body type before you said it. Wishful thinking. Some scouts think he can hit 20 homers as a regular player while struggling to find a position. Other scouts aren't as bullish.

Todd (Garden City)

When will the Mets start making their first cuts this Spring?

Adam Rubin
  (12:29 PM)

In the past they've happened on Thursdays, so if not after today's game, perhaps in seven days. I believe you have to get guys out of camp 15 days before spring training ends, or if they become injured, you basically end up giving them major league pay if they're on the 40 and hurt to start the season. So by late next week there should be mass moves.

tim (ny)

Adam, just bought a house in long beach that was demolished by the hurricane. Once i move in what is your reco for best places to eat?

Adam Rubin
  (12:30 PM)

Hah. Laurelton Diner is old school, traditional diner. Sugo is good, too. My brother likes Lola's.

Hugh (NY)

What is the clubhouse morale like for a spring team that nobody expects to do ANYTHING this season? How do guys cope with that and still motivate? Is the fact that pretty much anyone has a shot the biggest motivator?

Adam Rubin
  (12:31 PM)

People are competing for spots, etc. I don't think there are many veterans thinking big picture. It's more about what they have to do.

Adam Rubin
  (12:31 PM)

Anyway, thanks for spending the past half hour with me. We'll do this again next week, before Johan's first expected start.