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Mets send Kevin Plawecki to minor league camp

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May 24, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) throws to first base during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) throws to first base during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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Plawecki started Tuesday’s game against the Cardinals and caught seven innings.

In another non-surprising move, the New York Mets sent catcher, Kevin Plawecki to minor league camp on Tuesday. The 26-year old is expected to begin the 2017 season in AAA Las Vegas. That means as expected, Travis d’Arnaud and Rene Rivera will be the catchers on the Mets’ opening day roster.

Plawecki got a final look in Grapefruit League action on Tuesday. In the Mets’ 3-3 tie against St. Louis, Plawecki went 0-for-3. He also caught all six innings from starter, Robert Gsellman and Jerry Blevins’ one relief inning. Plawecki has appeared in 14 spring games and posted a .241 batting average in 29 at-bats. He drilled one homer which also accounted for his lone RBI.

D’Arnaud is certainly penciled in as the starter, but he may not catch the Mets’ season opener. With Noah Syndergaard scheduled to take the bump, Rivera will be carried as a back-up. Last year, he served as Syndergaard’s primary catcher.

Over the past two seasons, Plawecki has been stuck on the doorstep of sticking full time in the majors. He has played in 126 MLB games and has hit .211. Last year, Plawecki handled AAA pitching well, hitting eight homers and driving in 40 while hitting .300 in 55 games at Las Vegas.

It remains to be seen whether Plawecki can take that final step. If d’Arnaud shows the improvement over the season he’s flashed in spring, it’ll be tough for Plawecki to be anything more than a back-up on this team. The former 35th overall pick got to AAA two years after being drafted, but has bounced back and forth since that point.

Next: Gsellman continues impressive spring

In 364 total minor league games, Plawecki has a slash line of .291/.362/.439. He has proven pretty much all he needs to while coming up through the system. The question now becomes if he can improve enough to consistently hit major league pitching. Still, we’ll surely see Plawecki in New York at some point this year as we have the last two seasons.

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