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Mets Season in Review: Rene Rivera

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Aug 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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How’d he fare in 2016?

While the Mets are still hopeful about d’Arnaud, you can’t underestimate the value of having an affordable veteran.

Yes, Rivera is a light hitting catcher, but so are most backups around the league. In the field, he gives a steady presence and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He committed just two errors in 534 chances last season.

On top of that, Rivera gave opposing baserunners something to think about when he was behind the dish. Rivera has usually been above league average in caught stealing percentage and that rang true again in 2016.

Rivera threw out 30 percent of runners who tried to steal against him, three percentage points above the league average. By contrast, d’Arnaud threw out 22 percent of runners last year.

When d’Arnaud’s bat was cold, it was easier to justify Rivera being the preferred catcher in the lineup at points of the season because of his ability to prevent runs at a more efficient rate.

Until d’Arnaud either shows improvement defensively or reverts back to the form at the plate that he started to show at times in 2015 then the share between the two will be larger. Plus, Noah Syndergaard is happy to have Rivera back who caught 23 of his 31 starts last season.

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