Here is a look at the players in Buffalo most likely to wind up on the Mets roster at some point during the 2009 season.

The Mets switched their Triple-A affiliate to Buffalo after spending two seasons in New Orleans after losing out on their long-time spot in Norfolk.  The Bisons are off to a rough start, with a record of 8-23.  However, five players – Nelson Figueroa, Casey Fossum, Jon Niese, Omir Santos and Ken Takahashi – have already seen time in the majors and several more Buffalo players will get the call in the upcoming months.

Here is a look at the players who’ve yet to get to play in the majors this year and a timetable for their potential promotions.

Fernando Martinez – The most heralded player in the minors for the Mets, Martinez is holding his own as a 20-year old.  He’s batting .273/.315/.479 and his .795 OPS leads the team.  However, Martinez is striking out nearly four times as many times as he walks (26-7).  The good news is that he is healthy and getting the chance to play every day.  Martinez should be a September callup and ready for a spot in the majors in 2010.

Nick Evans – A pleasant surprise last year for the Mets, Evans was one of the big stories in Spring Training and was one of the last cuts from the team.  But Evans has found it tough sledding in Triple-A so far, with an .093/.218/.227 line in 75 at-bats.  The most surprising thing is he has just one hit in 18 ABs versus southpaws, after batting .319 in 72 ABs versus lefties in the majors last year.  Evans will have to turn things around if he wants to earn a return trip to the Mets.

Dillon Gee – After an ugly start to the season, Gee has pitched well in two of his last three starts.  In his last 18 IP, he is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA and has three walks and 13 strikeouts.  Gee has struggled versus lefties, especially with the longball.  He’s allowed three home runs in 72 PA versus lefties compared to one homer in 90 PA versus righties.  It is not impossible that Gee makes an emergency start sometime this season for the Mets and if he continues his strong May, Gee could find himself in the majors for the stretch drive in September.

Brandon Knight – Like Gee, Knight has pitched much better in May than in April.  He has a 2.70 ERA with six walks and 19 strikeouts in 20 IP, and a 2-1 record.  The veteran has struggled in three previous cups of coffee in the majors.  But he is another candidate for bullpen help for the Mets in September.

Eddie Kunz – A supplemental first-round pick in the 2007 draft, Kunz no longer has big expectations surrounding him.  He was a disaster in a brief stint in the majors last year and has been nothing special at Triple-A this year.  Kunz has two wins and a 2.57 ERA in eight games but has allowed 20 baserunners in 14 innings.  His pedigree might get him a September call, but it will be an uphill climb if he continues to allow that many baserunners.

Tim Redding – Expected to be the Mets’ fifth starter this year, Redding instead was sidetracked by a shoulder injury and opened the year on the disabled list.  He’s made two starts for Buffalo and pitched well.  In 13 innings, Redding has a 2.77 ERA with two walks and nine strikeouts.  He should not be in the minors for much longer.  The only question is will Redding end up in the rotation or the bullpen for the Mets.

*****

Robinson Cancel, Ramon Martinez and Argenis Reyes, who each saw time for the Mets last year, are all in Triple-A.  Cancel has been passed over by Santos and is unlikely to see time unless two catchers go down with an injury at the same time.  Both Martinez and Reyes have done a fine job of getting on-base and could be options for middle infield depth in September.

Veteran Elmer Dessens has pitched very well as the team’s closer and may make the Mets in September.  Connor Robertson has been unimpressive in 12 games.  A dark horse candidate would be reliever Jon Switzer, who has 15 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched.  Switzer has four years in the majors with Tampa Bay under his belt.  The lefty has done a good job getting grounders this year in Buffalo.

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