Can d’Arnaud still be the Mets full time catcher?

By Gem Tablak

One thing the Mets felt they had set was pitching. The next thing I would think the Mets would have felt safe with is their 2 “premiere” catchers that they’ve rotated in the big leagues, mostly due to injury to TdA. But the Mets catching duo of d’Arnaud & Plawecki have been quite a disappointment. 

Firstly, Plawecki had no right being on the Major League roster unless the Mets were willing to get creative with one of the catchers. There was speculation in spring that both catchers would get some time fielding grounders at 1st but nothing significant. So instead the Mets had the 25 year old, Plawecki delegated to the standard back up catcher instead of using any of the two at 1st vs a LHP. Once TdA had been plagued with shoulder issues & was placed on the DL by the team, the Mets hurled the young catcher straight into starting duties. After some time, the Plawecki run of early 2016 just wasn’t catching any traction so the Mets opted to use Rene Rivera more often & demote Plawecki once TdA recently taken off the DL.

So now, what that does for the Mets is it gets Plawecki regular playing time in AAA while he can either build & regain some value to the Mets or build his value on the trade market, either would work. With Nido producing in the lower minors, it gives the Mets the chance of entertaining trading Plawecki, but that comes with the risk of TdA getting injured & having one less replacement to try & fill in. However, if the Mets wanted to entertain the idea, they should wait it out till the last minute to see how TdA is holding up. In his last 7 games his slash is .318/.348/.318 with 3 RBI’s. While the power hasn’t shown itself just yet he’s always been good at seeing the ball & knowing the zone so I do believe the power will come shortly. We might not see him pop them over the fence but don’t be surprised if he starts splitting the gaps more often. 

Even though TdA let 5 Nationals steal, I’d have to say that’s more due to Syndergaard. Travis has actually shown more strength on his throws & his technique has been better as he’s not pulling the ball all the way back & he’s throwing more traditionally in a catchers sense to where they are taught to only bring the ball back as far as the ear to minimize movement & wasted time behind the dish. So personally I’ve been seeing improvements in his throws however with an already bummed shoulder, I don’t expect that to last. The Mets should have had TdA platoon at 1st base a long time ago. 

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