Jacobs at cleanup for Mets

4/2/2010 - MLB Mike Jacobs New York Mets + more

First baseman Mike Jacobs is expected to bat cleanup on Opening Day, between David Wright and Jason Bay, New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel said.

Manuel expects a straight platoon early on with right-handed hitting Fernando Tatis. The Mets face entirely right-handers the first series, then on Friday against the Washington Nationals as well with Livan Hernandez. So Tatis' first start should come Game 5, Saturday against Nats left-hander John Lannan.

On Jacobs, Manuel said: "He's a power guy, and we missed a little power last year. He has a nice presence in the lineup. He has a nice presence in the field. I've always liked Jacobs."

In other Mets news, Francisco Rodriguez is still expected to arrive in New York on Sunday. He traveled to Venezuela after his brother was involved in a car accident.

The roster will be announced after Saturday's game against the Orioles in Sarasota. Jonathon Niese and Oliver Perez will split the final Grapefruit League game on the mound.

Team insiders continue to suggest shortstop Ruben Tejada is in good shape to make the team along with utility player Frank Catalanotto, and that right-hander Jenrry Mejia is more likely than not to be on -- although Mejia's fate isn't set in stone.

In solid shape to make the bullpen are Rodriguez, Pedro Feliciano, Ryota Igarashi, Hisanori Takahashi and Fernando Nieve.

If Mejia is on, that leaves only one bullpen spot for Nelson Figueroa, Sean Green, Bobby Parnell, Kiko Calero and Raul Valdes.

Valdes is on loan from Tabasco in the Mexican League, but the Mets believe they can hold onto him in the minors for now. Calero could be asked to stay behind in Port St. Lucie for a few weeks.

On the minor league front, Triple-A Buffalo finished its exhibition schedule with a 7-2 win over New Orleans Zephyrs on Friday afternoon in Port St. Lucie .The Herd went unbeaten with seven wins, two ties and one rainout against the affiliates of the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jose Reyes, who remained back in Port St. Lucie when the Mets traveled across the state to face the Rays, went 1-for-4 with a walk against Triple-A New Orleans. Reyes homered in his first at-bat. He will open the season on the disabled list due to a thyroid condition, but will be eligible to be activated next Saturday.

Manuel on Reyes' homer: "It's good to see the power from Jose. That's good. That's a good indication of bat speed. That's an indication of legs being strong."

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com.