The New York Mets’ roster could be bolstered with the resurgence of catcher Kevin Plawecki.With fans quibbling about Travis d’Arnaud‘s struggles, Kevin Plawecki has flown under-the-radar and vanished from sight.
Despite posting equally worrisome numbers, the backup catcher hasn’t been subjected to the fanbase’s wrath. It’s a curious thing: while Plawecki was never a top prospect, he was always regarded as a plus-hitter and even landed some pretty impressive accolades.
For some reason, those hits never came. He endured a woeful season, batting .197/.298/.265 with one dinger and six runs batted-in for a major league squad deprived of any offensive contributions from its backstops.
The absence of a formidable threat at that position — d’Arnaud was just as anemic last season — plagued the team’s lineup. For the Amazin’s to take the next step and win their first title since 1986, they’re going to need one of their two catchers to step up.
Plawecki believes that it can be him.
Admittedly, this will be a daunting task. Plawecki will likely start the season in Las Vegas, allowing defensive wiz Rene Rivera to groom some of the team’s young starters and impress scouts with his rubber arm.
But in the event that d’Arnaud lands on the disabled list (again), Plawecki will be entrusted with the starting job. And according to the third-year pro, he’ll be ready.
Both backstops have been working with new third-base coach Glenn Sherlock, nicknamed ‘Sherlock Holmes’ by Plawecki, this offseason. Plawecki hopes that this extra work will translate into a more encouraging campaign.
At face value, it very well could. There’s much to like about Plawecki, especially his healthy walk totals. If he can regain some confidence, or fix the flaw in his swing, or correct whatever was plaguing him for so much of last season, the Amazins will be in good shape.
If not, Sandy Alderson’s decision not to pursue another backstop will come back to haunt him.