I have already selected¬†13 position players to open the season on the New York Mets roster. As Spring Training continues, it is time to announce which pitchers I believe will make the Opening Day squad. There has been a lot of competition this offseason as a handful of hurlers are looking to battle back from injuries. Some of these pitchers are familiar names, while others are trying to make Flushing their new home. So who makes the cut? I’ll give you a hint: two of them are pictured below.

AP Photo Veterans Dickey and Isringhausen are on my list.

We shall start with the starting rotation in order, followed by the bullpen arms.

No. 1, Mike Pelfrey: With Johan Santana sidelined for the first few months of the season, Mike Pelfrey becomes ace of the staff. This will be telling to see how Big Pelf handles the role, especially given his streaky 2010 season.

2011 ST Stats: 10 IP 6 ERs 2 BBs 2 Ks

No. 2, R.A. Dickey: Mets fans can continue smoking the dickey pipe. The knuckleballer re-signed on a two-year contract in the offseason. After having a great deal of success this past season, he will try to prove that knuckleballers do get better with age.

2011 ST Stats: 12 IP 7 ERs 4 BBs 8 Ks

No. 3, Jonathon Niese: It’s hard to believe that Niese is only 24 years old. He had a mediocre 2010 season, but there were glimpses every so often that led fans to believe he could very well be a top-of-the-rotation arm. The cutter is his money pitch and developing the change-up will only help him.

2011 ST Stats: 11.1 IP 2 ERs 3 BBs 10 Ks

No. 4, Chris Young: Anyone surprised by this? I didn’t think so. Young has a track record for success when he is healthy. A fly-ball pitcher coming from a pitcher’s park in San Diego should have no problem attacking hitters at CitiField. The guy is also huge, surpassing Pelfrey at 6 foot 10 inches, which can be intimidating for certain opponents.

2011 ST Stats: 14.1 IP 3 ERs 3 BBs 6 Ks

No. 5, Chris Capuano: This guy is the prototypical number five pitcher. During his last two fully healthy seasons (2006 and 2007), he pitched at least 200 innings with an ERA hovering around 4.00. That is what you look for in a back of the rotation arm. Some see him as a long man out of the bullpen, but I feel his talent would be wasted there. As long as he avoids the DL, he should give the Mets a chance to win each time he takes the mound.

2011 ST Stats: 5 IP 2 ERs 2 BBs 1 K

Closer, Francisco Rodriguez: Yes, the man who punched out his girlfriend’s father right outside the family lounge at CitiField will remain the closer into the 2011 season. Since the club has a $17.5 million vesting option for the 2012 season which is dependent on how many games he appears in (55), K-Rod will likely split time as closer with someone else in the bullpen.

2011 ST Stats: 5.2 IP 0 ERs 1 BB 6 Ks

Setup Man, Bobby Parnell: I think that Parnell has the best tools for a 8th inning guy that will probably translate into closer stuff in the near future. He has a hard fastball, touching 100 mph at points, and a sharp-breaking slider. His only weakness is controlling the placement of these pitches. Once he masters location, he may be a strong consideration to replace K-Rod in the closer role.

2011 ST Stats: 6 IP 1 ER 2 BBs 4 Ks

Setup Man/Middle Reliever, Taylor Buchholz: He has pitched extremely well so far during spring training. He throws a fastball that sits in the low 90s, along with a hard curve and sinking changeup. He may be in competition with Parnell for the setup role, but could probably slot into the 7th inning as well.

2011 ST Stats: 8 IP 0 ERs 3 BBs 6 Ks

Middle Reliever, Jason Isringhausen: The Mets brought this veteran in for a reason. Yes, he probably won’t contribute much in terms of performance, but he has had a noteworthy career as a reliever. The 38-year old could help split time with K-Rod as closer, as well as pitch in any inning. The main reason I think the Mets like him is that he could act as a mentor to the younger relievers that are trying to establish themselves at the major league level.

2011 ST Stats: 5 IP 1 ER 2 BBs 1 K

Middle Reliever, Manny Acosta: Returning from a pretty solid 2010 season in the Mets bullpen. There is no reason he shouldn’t earn his spot back on the team.

2011 ST Stats: 6 IP 1 ER 2 BBs 5 Ks

Lefty Specialist, Mike O’Connor: There aren’t a handful of lefties available to choose from in Port St. Lucie. He has shown only a small sample of pitching against left handed hitters but has been successful nonetheless. O’Connor should be in line to take over Feliciano’s old role.

2011 ST Stats: 3 IP 0 ERs 0 BBs 3 Ks

Long Reliever, Tim Byrdak: There is a method to my madness, I promise. Having Byrdak in the bullpen allows the Mets to have two left handers to go to when necessary. Otherwise, Byrdak used to be a starter and has served time as a reliever, also. No brainer to keep him in the ‘pen for those two roles.

2011 ST Stats: 4.1 IP 0 ERs 1 BB 3 Ks

Do you agree with my selections for the starting rotation and bullpen? Should a heavy emphasis be placed on limiting K-Rod’s role this season? Speak up!