The New York Mets have reunited with catcher Rene Rivera as a possible replacement for Devin Mesoraco. Was this the best idea?
All spring long, I had nothing but good things to say about the abundance of depth the New York Mets added this winter. While it would appear few, if any, of those newcomers will actually join the team in Washington to open the season, the organization still gave themselves plenty of backup plans when injuries or poor performance arise.
Furthering their attempt to bolster the organization with MLB experience, the Mets made two late additions days before Opening Day. They have reunited with catcher Rene Rivera and infielder Ruben Tejada. They’re partying like it’s 2015-2016 again with these two coming back into the mix; likely to begin the year in Triple-A.
It’s always nice to see old friends return. However, I’m not quite sure either was a necessary addition. The team has plenty of infield depth even with Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie shelved. What’s more, they had a perfectly capable catcher ready for backup duties named Devin Mesoraco.
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As you may already know, Mesoraco is prepared to retire if the Mets don’t release him from his minor league contract. Per his agent as reported on by Andy Martino of SNY, Mesoraco was told if Travis d’Arnaud wasn’t healthy enough to make the Opening Day roster, the job of backup catcher would go to him.
Well, it’s not going to happen. Mesoraco has already been reassigned to minor league camp and is now on the restricted list until this mess gets sorted out.
Mesoraco and Rivera each became a personal catcher of sorts during their time with the Mets. Mesoraco was Jacob deGrom’s primary battery-mate in 2018 with Rivera handling the catching duties whenever Noah Syndergaard was on the mound during his stint. Each is a defense-first catcher at this point with limited offensive abilities.
Personally, I would prefer Mesoraco because he was with the team more recently and has an overall better pedigree at the plate than Rivera. Rivera received only 91 trips to the plate last season at the major league level. He’s also coming into camp late whereas Mesoraco has nearly a year of working with deGrom and other Mets pitchers since his arrival in early May of 2018.
The Mets mucked this one up and like Lucy, have some ‘splainin to do. As the older of the two, Rivera’s body surely has more wear and tear on it when compared to Mesoraco, who is four years younger.
It would seem the Mets may have made a promise to Mesoraco which they did not keep. Even though he’s just a backup catcher who would likely get reassigned to the minor leagues once d’Arnaud did return, it’s a bad early look for the organization in the Brodie Van Wagenen Era.
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At least the planes are running on time though, right?