Back in February, I asked, “How much power can John Buck and Anthony Recker provide behind the plate?” I speculated that if they posted a combined .253 batting average, hit twenty-three home runs, and drove in ninety runs this season, who wouldn’t do cartwheels?
Consider the Mets catching output from last season, when Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas held down most of the back-stop duties, with Kelly Shoppach and Rob Johnson filling-in the gaps – the four posted a combined .219 average, scored forty-two times, hit twenty-two doubles and five home runs, while driving in forty eight runs.
So far, to include John Buck‘s 0 for 3 in Saturday’s game, the Buck/Recker combo is hitting a deficient .211, but through July, the rest of their line comes in way above expectations. They’ve scored forty-five runs, hit fifteen doubles and nineteen home runs, with sixty-seven runs batted in. Minus a better batting average, they appear well on their way towards achieving my pre-season projection. But who cares if I’m right, so long as it’s a good situation for the Mets.
For the second consecutive season, an injury derailed Travis d’Arnaud‘s major league debut. This year, he should theoretically be playing in his sophomore season, but such as life. Once Travid d’Arnaud arrives in Flushing, Anthony Recker will most likely receive a demotion to Las Vegas, leaving Buck to tutor and back-up d’Arnaud. Travis played and broke his toe on April 17th in Las Vegas. On Saturday evening playing for the GCL Mets, Travis went 3 for 5, with a double and three runs batted in. In four games since July 24th, d’Arnaud is batting .400, with six hits in fifteen trips to the plate.
Until Travis’ flight touches down at LaGuardia, we Mets fans will continue to wait patiently, as John Buck and Anthony Recker have often times this season, turned d’Arnaud into a distant thought. Good job by them. Unlike other positions demanding Sandy Alderson’s attention, catcher is no longer one of them. Travis d’Arnaud will eventually crouch behind the plate for the New York Mets, and the hope is he will do well. But until then, let’s continue to give John Buck and Anthony Recker a pat on the back.