Mets playing with fire without true backup catcher

The New York Mets have had a myriad of issues over the past two seasons that were addressed when Brodie Van Wagenen grabbed the helm of the organization during the offseason. There has been a noticeable culture change with the Mets, something that is exciting to see after two straight seasons of futility, all the while fielding a rotation that had an immaculate top three. A large issue was the one regarding the starting catcher position, simply because the Mets haven’t had a competent one in some time. Wilson Ramos, a certified Mets killer, fit the bill as the man to fill that void.

After the Yasmani Grandal decided that he did not want to play for the Mets, Ramos inked a deal with the team for two years and $19 million. Ramos brings a veteran presence to the clubhouse and behind the plate that has been lacking as long as they have been missing that competent starter mentioned before. So far, Ramos has fit the bill. His scintillating offense has been exciting to watch this season, as he has gone 10 for his last 19, and is 11-23 total so far for a batting average of .478 in the young season. While it is obvious that these numbers will normalize, it is a welcome sight to see a productive catcher in the orange and blue.

There are still remnants of the catchers that have populated the roster of the Mets for the past few seasons. While Kevin Plawecki is gone with the Cleveland Indians, Travis d’Arnaud and Tomas Nido are still around to back up Ramos. Nido has been doing the backup work so far while d’Arnaud is, you guessed it, recovering from an injury. While Nido’s offense has not been present so far this season, he proved to be an efficient battery mate for Jacob deGrom on Wednesday. Degrom’s 14 strikeouts were an impressive sight to see, and Nido proved his worth as a pitch count behind the plate.

Nido’s offense has been suspect ever since he stepped onto the field for the Mets, and d’Aanaud has averaged 73 games played over his five straight seasons. The fact is, the Mets do not have a reliable backup catcher to turn to, and that is going to hurt them as they pursue a playoff appearance. The team did look at a couple of options at the minor league level, looking at some familiar faces to fill the void. While they brought Devin Mesoraco during spring training, he decided that he did not want to play Triple-A ball. The other familiar face is in Syracuse, and it is not clear whether Rene Rivera will see playing time with the big club this year.

Between Nido, d’Arnaud, and Rivera, the three batted a combined .218 in 2018. While Ramos is holding down the fort right now, there should be concern for if Ramos gets hurt throughout the season. If something like that happens, the Mets will have to face the consequences of having no offense from behind the plate without Ramos.

3 comments for “Mets playing with fire without true backup catcher

  1. John Fox
    April 6, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Mesoraco made sense to me as the backup, he has some pop in his bat and is decent defensively. I was puzzled by the moves the FO made regarding back up catcher.

  2. April 6, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Don’t get the “playing with fire” point…what is the big deal here..?
    God forbid Ramos gets hurt in a game, Nido finishes game, the next day R.Rivera, a very good defensive catcher whom the Mets starters like and respect, comes in from the minors. dArnaud is probably back soon and then Nido goes down. Ramos comes back and Rivera goes down. Not calculus here.
    By the way, Grandal sucks vs Ramos and didn’t want to come to NY anyway, was a fool and botched his own contract dollars.
    Bad judgement on his part, Mets better off.

  3. April 7, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    The Mets will be fine with TDA as the backup catcher. When healthy he has been an above average offense player, granted he has not been healthy enough of the time, but as a backup he will have less responsibility & less stress thus he could stay healthy longer & possibly the whole season. This writer is panic stricken for no reason, the Mets will be fine at catcher.

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