PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If any questions remained as to the makeup of the Mets' Opening Day roster, manager Terry Collins answered them in the early days of spring. With only five players in camp who did not end last season in the organization, Collins never figured to face many difficult decisions. And while upsets do happen, the bulk of New York's roster appears relatively static heading into this week's full-squad workouts:
For the second consecutive year, d'Arnaud and Recker should go unchallenged as the Mets' starting catcher and primary backup, respectively. Though Minor League free agent Johnny Monell could theoretically compete for a job, Recker enjoys the massive advantage of already being on the 40-man roster. The club wants prospect Kevin Plawecki, meanwhile, to gain more seasoning at Triple-A Las Vegas.
Even if Collins wants Tejada to consider shortstop an open competition, it's clear that Duda, Murphy, Flores and Wright will be the infield starters on Opening Day, with Tejada serving as a middle-infield backup. Though the Mets could weigh other corner-infield options, they like Campbell's versatility; he is capable of playing first base, third base and left field, and is working on becoming an emergency catcher.
Granderson, Lagares and Cuddyer are the undisputed starters, with Mayberry set to fill in regularly against left-handed pitchers. Normally, that would leave the fifth spot in question. But with Nieuwenhuis out of options, he is a strong bet to make the team over Matt den Dekker -- particularly considering how valuable Nieuwenhuis proved to be to the Mets in a flex role last summer.
Collins wasted little time squelching speculation about this group, admitting early in camp that Dillon Gee is the most likely of the Mets' six proven starters to head to the bullpen. Gee will be next in line to start if anything happens to one of the club's top five arms, with Rafael Montero seventh on the depth chart. Prospects Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are also in the conversation, but first must prove themselves at Triple-A.
Barring a Spring Training meltdown (similar to the one that Black experienced last year), everyone in this group outside of Gilmartin is a lock. With Bobby Parnell not due back from Tommy John surgery until late April, Mejia will open the year as closer. Gee's presence as a long man, meanwhile, will make it difficult for Montero to crack the bullpen. Instead, Collins indicated Wednesday that Gilmartin, a Rule 5 pick, is the early favorite to round things out over Scott Rice, Buddy Carlyle and others.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.