The New York Mets will be without the services of both Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki for the foreseeable future.
Just when New York Mets fans were getting comfortable with the idea that things were going their way for once, the injury bug decided to shake things up.
Starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who injured his elbow earlier in the week, has decided to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, according to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
Travis d'Arnaud has indeed decided to undergo Tommy John surgery, the Mets announced. He'll miss the rest of the 2018 season.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 13, 2018
While Tommy John surgery typically takes 12-to-18 months to recover from, that’s only true for pitchers. It’s not out of the question that d’Arnaud could be ready for Spring Training in 2019.
Kevin Plawecki, meanwhile, fractured his hand and while he’ll avoid surgery, isn’t expected back for three-to-four weeks, per the New York Post‘s Mike Puma.
Mets say d'Arnaud will have Tommy John surgery next week. Plawecki estimated at 3-4 weeks before he can return, according to the club.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) April 13, 2018
While these injuries have resulted in the Mets having discussions, per Puma, about trying to swing a deal with the Miami Marlins for their own injured catcher, J.T. Realmuto, the team has looked within for immediate replacements.
Prospect Tomas Nido was promoted earlier this week upon news of d’Arnaud’s injury, while the team announced that veteran Jose Lobaton was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday.
We’ve selected the contract of catcher José Lobatón from Las Vegas, recalled OF Brandon Nimmo from Las Vegas and optioned Jacob Rhame to Las Vegas. We’ve placed Kevin Plawecki on the 10-Day DL retroactive to April 12 and transferred catcher Travis d’Arnaud to the 60-Day DL. #Mets
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 13, 2018
The Mets will be Lobaton’s fourth big league club, as he’s previously spent time with the San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals.
Owner of a career .218/.295.324 slash line, the 33-year-old is a solid defender, though, like d’Arnaud and Plawecki, he leaves something to be desired when it comes to controlling the opposition’s running game.
Losing one of your two Opening Day catchers is rough. Losing both, within only a few weeks of the season getting underway, is brutal.
Regardless of what fans may think of d’Arnaud and Plawecki, they have the most experience with the team’s pitching staff. They know what guys like to throw and when. They know what to say when they trot out to the mound.
The Mets need Lobaton and Nido to develop a rapport with the staff—and fast—if they hope to keep their hot start going.