Mets Desperately Need Plawecki Back

On April 11th, the New York Mets were soaring at 10-1, and they lost their second catcher when Kevin Plawecki was hit on the hand by a Tayron Guerrero pitch.

Up until that point, the Mets catching situation was actually one of the bright spots to what was a great start to the season.  The combination of Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud combined to hit .229/.341/.343 with six runs, a double, a homer, and four RBI.  While they were catching, the Mets pitching staff had a 2.47 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, and a 9.9 K/9.

Since d’Arnaud opted to have Tommy John surgery and Plawecki’s hand has taken longer to heal than expected, things have gone quite differently for this Mets team with the new catching tandem of Jose Lobaton and Tomas Nido.

Whereas the Plawecki/d’Arnaud tandem was at least passable offensively, Lobaton/Nido have not.  Combined, Lobaton and Nido have hit .164/.269/.218 with a double, triple, and four RBI.

While we should be cautioned not to rely upon things like catcher ERA or results in small sample sizes, the Mets pitching staff has had a 5.30 ERA.  Surprisingly, the walks have come slightly down to a 3.0 BB/9 while the strikeouts have remained at a 9.9 K/9.

More troubling, the Mets who got off to a 10-1 start have gone 7-9 with their new catching duo.

There are many reasons for the difference in records including a natural regression from a team that started the season 10-1.  Really, no one believed the Mets were going to go 147-15 for the full season.

And the catching situation has nothing to do with Amed Rosario regressing, Michael Conforto not hitting for power, or Adrian Gonzalez not contributing anywhere near what the Mets expected.  Still, these catchers are part of a black hole the Mets have in the bottom of their lineup.

The Mets have also had two bad bullpen meltdowns with Lobaton behind the plate.  The first one was the Nationals six run 8th inning.  It was a complete meltdown, and no one quite knew how to stop it from happening.  Not Mickey Callaway.  Not Dave Eiland.  Not Lobaton.

The second one, much smaller in scale was the Mets blowing a 3-0 lead to the Braves.  Lobaton was on for the two run eighth, and Nido was there for the two run ninth.

Maybe these meltdowns were coincidences.  It’s possible Matt Harvey would have regressed the way he has anyway.  We’ve seen enough of Steven Matz to know we don’t know what he’s going to provide.  AJ Ramos and Jerry Blevins always had difficulty with walks.  The list goes on and on.

Whatever the case, the one thing that is apparent, even if this stretch is not completely the fault of either Lobaton or Nido, the Mets miss their catchers.  Unfortunately, d’Arnaud is gone for the season, and he may never suit up for the Mets again.  As for Plawecki, he’s still a few weeks away.  Seeing how the Mets are performing in his absence, he cannot get back here soon enough.

7 thoughts on “Mets Desperately Need Plawecki Back”

  1. Saul's Colorist says:

    I think you are getting it confused… Travis has hit for power for three years.
    Plawecki had a good summer in Vegas once.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The stats are the stats

  2. OldBackstop says:

    I’m just glad you didn’t mention framing.

    One positive in the current pairing is that they throw out basestealers, combinging for six. Plawecki/D’Arnaud had one between them (albeit a smaller sample.)

    I am sort of optimistic about Nido…hopefully he is getting his feet under him with major league pitching, the hits and a walk in his last nine plate appearances, raised his average 70 something points. He does have a minor league batting title in his past, and a reputation as a good receiver.

    Lobaton joins the list of guys I really am not sure belong in the majors….Gonzales, Reyes, Harvey…

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Framing is a real thing, and I have yet to see anything proving otherwise

      1. OldBackstop says:

        Frazier showed it. The players get reports on blown calls, the umpires get them, and there is a heightened dialogue the last few years. That is why burglars like Lucroy have gone from first to worse.

        You want a few more strikes outside the zone in 2018, the LAST thing you want is a guy behind the plate with a rap sheet.

        It’s an issue….look at the Molina incident. Framing is deader than Kelsey’s nuts..

  3. OldBackstop says:

    “”The combination of Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud combined to hit .229/.341/.343 with six runs, a double, a homer, and four RBI.””

    Naw they were 6 for 44, which is .136. Nido and Lobaton are hitting 9 for 55, .163 going into tonight.

  4. OldBackstop says:

    Setting aside the above, I was surprised comparing Plawecki and Lobaton:

    23% CS (but lousy the past two years)
    21% CS (but strong the past five years, above league average)
    .216 on limited major league ABs, looks to have about the same CS as Lobaton, slightly better than Plawecki

    Plawecki, while he is a fan favorite, was only slashing .150/.393/.200/.593 in 28 AB s. Nido was only batting .150/.393/.200/.593 in….27ABs.

    Given that Lobaton is 33, Plawecki 27, Nido 24, the snap call would be to cut loose Lobaton down to the minors. But if Plawecki is going to dominate starts, do you want Nido to sit, or do you want him playing in Las Vegas?

    Plawecki, by the way, was throwing in the outfield this AM. I will welcome him back, but I’m surprised the numbers aren’t stronger in his favor.

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