There is likely to be two New York Mets catchers in 2018. The idea is a bit odd but might be crazy enough to work.
By John Caroll Jr
The New York Mets and new manager Mickey Callaway are already changing a bunch of things up from the old-school Terry Collins approach the fans and team have become so used to.
One of the ways in which he is doing that is by naming his starting catcher a different player each night.
But here is the catch: the reason why the new skipper will start either Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki has nothing to do with the pitcher for the Mets.
In a twist that I find sort of ridiculous, it is expected that the catcher will be named on a given night based on the opposing pitcher.
To me, this seems like an excuse. There seems to be no confidence in either one of these guys. Callaway does not want them behind the plate for over 120 games like the good ‘ol days. But that is why this will work.
Aside from the wishy-washy analytics stuff that Callaway claims is the reason. The observation that d’Arnaud and Plawecki are better at hitting pitchers who throw righty or lefty. It still seems odd.
d’Arnaud has not proven nearly enough to me. He is always hurt and his hot streaks are short-lived and random.
This is a spark for both men. d’Arnaud is pointing out that he will not mind it and will be ready when his name is called but it must, as a competitor, bother him to an extent that he will only get certain chances.
This somewhat new method of setting a line up might be crazy enough to work.
For starters, Callaway is going off the eye test, He made observations and is doing what he feels is right. That is encouraging and correct because it is his team.
Also, both catchers will have a better chance to stay healthy. It’s a grueling position and there are less and less of them growing on trees now. It’s smart to an extent to switch them up more frequently.
But it is mostly smart because of what I previously mentioned. Both players have a fuel, a reason, and a purpose to succeed. If Callaway is willing to have them split reps before the season even hits June why would he give them a big leash?
Let us not forget that another catcher, Tomas Nido, is lingering on the roster too.
He won’t and both seem to know that. It seems new-school and it seems odd relying on the opponent to set a lineup.
But at the end of the day, it may just be crazy enough to work for the New York Mets.
Keep an eye on this trend if it works it can take the league by storm.