Good Luck Kevin Plawecki
Kevin Plawecki has had an oddly turbulent Mets career. He was thrust into action well before he was ready to play in the majors because of a Travis d’Arnaud injury. In fact, due to the many d’Arnaud injuries there were, Plawecki was constantly pressed into action before he was ready from 2015 to early 2017.
In many ways, Plawecki was always a symbol of what went wrong, and Mets fans always held it against him. It got to the point where he actually deleted his Twitter account after a face plant sliding short into second base. He become a punchline when it the contents of his locker were revealed. Not once but twice, he had the ignominy of being a position player pitching.
However, through it all Plawecki persevered.
While many reflect back to how poorly he hit in 2015, fact is he was an exceptional pitch framer. At a time when the Mets were more M*E*T*S* than baseball team, they needed everything they could get from everyone. His pitch framing helped an already dominant pitching staff get that extra call they needed, and if you remember correctly, that pitching staff needed every break they could get while they were out there trying to win 1-0 games. In some ways, the run in 2015 would not have been possible had Plawecki not been back there doing a good job behind the plate.
It also needs to be noted that after setback after setback after setback, Plawecki was undeterred. The player who was a career .206/.282/.278 hitter over his first 437 Major League plate appearances would take advantage of finally receiving some extended playing time in Triple-A. When he came back up in August 2017, he would hit .303/.411/.474.
Yes, last year, he took a bit of a step back, and it was partially due to injury. Still, he emerged as someone who was at least a capable Major League backup. His 93 wRC+ was 18th best among Major League catchers with at least 250 plate appearances. When you break it down a little more, his being in the top 20 shows he’s a capable Major League starting catcher.
Maybe that says more about Major League catchers than it does Plawecki, but remember this is someone who was partially on his way out of baseball.
After the Mets obtained Wilson Ramos to improve their catching situation, it arguably made Plawecki expendable. Unsurprisingly, the Indians brought him in with the hopes he could not only hit like he did in 2017, but that he could also be behind the plate like he was in 2015. Given his age and his skillset, Plawecki is going to get a chance.
Also, given the weak AL Central, Plawecki is going to get an opportunity to go to the postseason once again. If he does get that chance, best of luck to him. His ability to persevere through everything has been commendable, and he deserves a real chance to prove himself. It should not surprise anyone if he does a good job there. We should all be rooting he does.