MONTREAL -- Though New Jersey native Anthony Seratelli was manager Terry Collins' "ideal guy" to serve as the Mets' backup middle infielder, Seratelli was unable to make the team as a 31-year-old rookie. Barring a last-minute injury or trade, Omar Quintanilla will serve as the backup shortstop and second baseman.
The Mets loved Seratelli's versatility -- he can play every position other than pitcher and catcher -- and wanted him to make the team for that reason. But Seratelli hit only .213 with a .506 OPS in 21 Grapefruit League games, and he made four errors in the field. Though Quintanilla actually performed worse offensively, batting .158 with a .422 OPS, his defense was sound.
Thus the job went to Quintanilla instead of Seratelli, who came to the Mets as a Minor League free agent after seven years in the Royals organization.
"He brings a lot to that [backup] position, but what I told him is, he's got to get more offense going," Collins said. "He's the ideal guy, being a switch-hitter who can run, and his ability to play multiple positions is very important. We just wanted to get a little bit more offense."
Collins added that David Wright will serve as the emergency shortstop this season. Wright has briefly filled in at the position in the past, and routinely plays there when the Mets employ over-shifts against left-handed batters.
Mejia has contusion after hit by comebacker
MONTREAL -- The only thing holding right-hander Jenrry Mejia back from a job in the Mets' rotation may be his health.
Mejia on Friday added a right forearm contusion to his list of ailments after Blue Jays infielder Ryan Goins struck him with a comebacker to lead off the fifth. Though Mejia popped back to his feet immediately after the ball struck him, he walked slowly off the field as a welt surfaced on his arm. He went to a local hospital after the game for X-rays.
"When I walked out there, I don't think I've seen a lump pop up on a guy's arm quite so fast," manager Terry Collins said. "He got hit pretty good."
Mejia had entered the game nursing a bunion on his right foot, an injury that Collins hinted could cost him his roster spot. Certainly, performance alone will not. Giving up one run in four-plus innings on Friday, Mejia lowered his spring ERA to 2.70.
"Every time it seems like things are going good, something pops up for him," Collins said, referencing Mejia's history of elbow and shoulder problems. "But we'll wait until tomorrow to see how he feels."
With Opening Day rapidly approaching, the injuries are coming at a most inopportune time for Mejia, who had been on track to land a roster spot thanks partly to a technicality. Because the Mets are uncertain of Jon Niese's health and would be unable to recall Mejia for 10 days if they optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas, they were considering starting Mejia over Daisuke Matsuzaka on April 4. That would allow them to slot Matsuzaka in place of Niese on April 6 should the soreness in the latter's left elbow linger longer than expected.
But if Mejia is not healthy himself, the Mets will almost certainly turn to Matsuzaka, who will start on Saturday in Montreal. The early favorite to win the fifth starter's job, Matsuzaka is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA this spring.
"If [Mejia's] going to be out, we'll have to make some adjustments here fast," Collins said, noting that reliever John Lannan is stretched out enough to start in a pinch. "One thing we're very, very lucky to have right now is some depth."
As for Niese, the left-hander felt no discomfort after making 45 throws from 90 feet in a bullpen session on Thursday, according to Collins. Niese is on track to start in a Minor League game on April 1, which should determine his readiness for April 6.
Standing-room-only tickets released for opener
MONTREAL -- The Mets on Friday released a limited supply of standing-room-only tickets for Opening Day at Citi Field. Standing-room tickets for Monday's 1:10 p.m. ET game against the Nationals cost $35 and can be purchased online at mets.com/tickets, by calling 718-507-TIXX and at the Citi Field ticket windows.
With a sellout expected for Opening Day, the Mets are encouraging fans to take mass transit to Citi Field.
• Collins said that on Saturday, because of Olympic Stadium's artificial turf, he will consider resting some players who have dealt with leg injuries. First basemen Ike Davis and Lucas Duda and second baseman Daniel Murphy all missed time this spring with leg injuries.
• Mets' flagship radio station WOR has hired longtime MLB.com multimedia host Pete McCarthy to host "The WOR Sports Zone," a new talk show. The show will air weeknights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on non-game days, as well as before and after each game.