PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- With less than two weeks to go before the Mets board a flight to Washington, D.C., shutting the door on their Port St. Lucie experience for 2005, the roster appears to be settling into place around camp.
Several key cuts still remain to be made by manager Willie Randolph. <I>Inside Pitch</I>'s Bryan Hoch offers his analysis on who's making the team and why (this extra-long feature is available to Premium Subscribers only):
Obviously, Mike Piazza is a lock to be on the roster come Opening Day, barring some catastrophic injury. Playing out what could be his final year in a Mets uniform, Piazza has made no secret thus far that he's enjoying being out of the limelight a little bit – most of the attention around the clubhouse has been focused on guys like Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez and David Wright.
Even though Willie Randolph pulled Piazza aside and told him that he still considers the Mets Piazza's club, the marketing folks obviously think otherwise: Piazza is absent from both the covers of the spring training programs sold at Tradition Field and the team's media guide for the season.
Piazza did not blast his first home run of the spring until Tuesday, when he cracked a solo shot to left against the Atlanta Braves, but he's enjoying a productive (and, most importantly, injury-free) spring in which he's batting .360 with nine RBI and a .600 slugging percentage in 25 at-bats.