As the New York Mets get ready to break camp and begin the regular season on Friday, they will have to make a few more final cuts to trim the roster down to 25.
I've written before about the guys I think will make the team, and the guys who are going to get cut.
When it came to Nick Evans, who I believe is a solid talent who is out of options, this is what I said last week:
"In case Beltran starts the year on the DL, it will be a coin-flip between Luis Hernandez and Nick Evans for that final bench spot. If I was a betting man, I'd lean towards Evans because he has played outfield in the past."
Rumblings out of camp today indicate that Beltran will not be placed on the disabled list, and is on track to start in right field on Opening Day against the Marlins on Friday.
Beltran is scheduled to play right field for the first time in a Grapefruit League game on Tuesday.
That means, barring an upset of Nick Evans making the team and Daniel Murphy being sent down to Buffalo, the Mets bench is set with Scott Hairston, Willie Harris, Mike Nickeas, Chin-lung Hu and Murphy.
The final bullpen spot is likely the only spot on the 25-man roster that is still up in the air.
In a nutshell, that means that Nick Evans' days in a Mets uniform may be numbered. The 25-year-old first baseman/outfielder is out of options and likely out of luck when it comes to making the team.
It's not impossible that Evans clears waivers and returns to Triple-A Buffalo, but I would have to think that there's at least one team out there that can find a spot for him.
Evans has always been a man without a position, similar to Daniel Murphy. Unlike Murphy however, Evans is a right-handed hitter who plays a tad better defense in the outfield, although neither one of them is above-average defensively at any position.
He's shown some pop in the minor leagues, hitting .314/.385/.557 in 157 plate appearances in Triple-A Buffalo last year, with a .243 ISO. He started the year in Double-A Binghamton, where he posted a .233 ISO in 391 plate appearances before being promoted.
He posted a very good wOBA last season, putting up a .390 wOBA in Double-A and a .408 wOBA in Triple-A. In limited at-bats with the big league team, he put up a .306/.324/.472. Take that with a gigantic grain of salt though, as that was in 37 plate appearances and with a .400 BABIP.
At the end of the day, Evans seems like he's a right-handed version of Daniel Murphy, albeit slighty better with the glove and a slight downgrade with the bat.
He'll probably never be a full-time starting major league player. He'll probably be a productive player as a right-handed half of a lefty/righty platoon, but I don't think the he's going to blossom into the next Nelson Cruz or anything.
I could be wrong. Who really knows? Jerry Manuel did not seem to be a big fan of his and he really never got the chance to show what he could do at the major league level.
The Phillies could use some outfield depth though, so if he does get placed on waivers, I really hope he ends up out of the NL East. Otherwise, I would gladly welcome Nick Evans back to the Mets organization.
Update: As soon as I finished writing this post, reports have come out that Evans, Luis Hernandez and Pat Misch have indeed been placed on waivers. Now the Mets will wait 48 hours to find out whether or not any of them will get claimed.
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