There is a 99.9% chance Marlon Byrd is starting in right field for the Mets on Opening Day, according to a team source (Kristie Ackert, Newsday).
Byrd is already preparing to move his family to New York, a source close to Byrd told Ackert.
The 35-year-old Byrd is batting .324 with 4 RBI and 4 doubles in 13 games for the Mets this spring.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
This is a no brainer. Yes, it’s amazing to me that Byrd is the outfield’s first lock of the spring, because I never expected to be saying that a few months ago. But, the situation is what it is… I don’t expect Byrd to return to his 2010 performance level, but if he puts up a .330 OBP, hits around 20 doubles, steals some bases, drives in 60 or so runs and plays a competent right field, it will still be a significant upgrade from last year’s outfield.
As for the other positions, I still think Lucas Duda will squeak in, because the ideal Duda (30 HR or so) is something this front office desperately wants to see in the lineup and (regardless of what you think he will do) he’s still their best shot at that type of production in the outfield.