New York Mets pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard both prefer pitching to backup catcher Tomas Nido over the starter, Wilson Ramos. The two starters need to get on the same page as Ramos for optimal success.
According to Mike Puma and Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Syndergaard requested Tomas Nido take a spot behind the plate for the start. This placed starting catcher Wilson Ramos on the bench in a game you would expect your best bats to start.
Though Nido is not Jacob deGrom’s official personal catcher, we all know he prefers tossing to the lighter-hitting option. The Mets have let deGrom have his way plenty and it looks as if Syndergaard will also get what he desires—at least more than one might expect.
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Personal catchers are rare and in today’s baseball world, a little tough to work with. As starting pitchers exit games earlier and earlier on average, their use dwindles. You can’t put a black hole in your lineup 40% of the time when you have a far more capable hitter available even if the defense isn’t nearly as good.
Ramos has had his trouble at the plate this year, but his defensive woes are far more glaring. He hasn’t been the force behind the plate I think we all hoped the Mets had landed when they signed him this offseason. At the very least, we thought he could become an above-average bat the pitchers enjoyed throwing to.
Instead, we’re halfway through his first year with the team and two of the three starters we expect to return in 2020 already desire someone else.
The difference between Nido and Ramos at the plate is far too great to make this a permanent fixture in Mets lineups going forward. Nido has shown some improvement on offense, but not nearly enough to play him each time deGrom or Syndergaard start.
The Mets signed Ramos as a right-handed bat they were hopeful could become a presence in the middle of the lineup. He has found ways to produce runs, factoring in positively on that side of the game.
The relationship between a pitcher and catcher is like no other in baseball. In a healthy year, we would expect to see deGrom and Syndergaard combine to make over 60 starts combined. Perhaps in the future, if the Mets are able to rely on others to keep the lineup potent, maybe then we could see Nido play each time they start even if he doesn’t improve much at the plate. This may have to wait until after Ramos’ contract runs out. Benching him now doesn’t make much sense.
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It’s essential deGrom and Syndergaard work with Ramos to get better together. Nido has not been perfect behind the plate either. And for the sake of having the best offense possible, these two need to get on the same page with the backstop who can offer something at the plate.