Mets catcher is clueless when it comes to solving the team’s Achilles heel

It's a team issue most notably falling on Omar Narvaez.
Apr 10, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Mets catcher Omar Narvaez (2) before batting practice
Apr 10, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Mets catcher Omar Narvaez (2) before batting practice / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Omar Narvaez didn’t play much this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays. In fact, he has become virtually unplayable and not so much because he’s hitting only .186 on the year. Narvaez had a pair of hits on Sunday for the New York Mets in the third straight loss to the Rays thus completing a sweep.

After the game, Narvaez was asked about the team’s inability to hold on runners. He had no answer.

Runners are now 30 for 30 against Narvaez. While a fine tribute to ESPN documentary filmmaking, it’s the one way to get an edge over the Mets. His counterpart, Tomas Nido, has allowed 12 stolen bases with 3 caught this season for an average of 20% which is one percentage point shy of where the league is at.

Another 7 stolen bases against the Mets on Sunday and the team is no closer to a solution

Mets pitchers have been brilliant at avoiding the home run ball. Tell that to Edwin Diaz…

Where they’ve been at their worst is with walks. The starting pitchers lead the league in walks per 9. The relievers aren’t too far behind. These walks are turning into doubles and even triples in some instances. The Mets had no solution for Jose Caballero who swiped four bags in the finale including third base twice. The final stolen base came when he was the ghost runner to start the tenth.

This isn’t just a Narvaez issue and yet his complete lack of any ability to throw out runners makes it one that falls a little larger on him. Anyone with any sense to steal a bag will have the greenlight whenever they’re on base against him and just about any Mets pitcher.

Clearly frustrated with the situation, Narvaez offered no solace to the fans wondering what the team will do about it. The next step, of course, is to get rid of Narvaez entirely. Hitting evenly with Nido this year, the return of Francisco Alvarez should have the Mets cutting ties with Narvaez instead.

The Mets were foolish enough to give Narvaez a two-year deal with the second season including a player option at $7 million. Suffering for one year was acceptable. Handing him an opportunity to stay around in 2024 when Alvarez was by all expectations going to be the starter was foolish.

It sure doesn’t sound like the Mets are making any sort of adjustments to this growing problem nor should we expect them to do anything other than change the catcher. Alvarez who was 0 for 10 in throwing out runners will need to figure things out with Nido, the pitchers, and the coaching staff.

Right now, Narvaez is being hung out to dry with a team-wide inability to keep a leash on base runners. Maybe signing Jorge Alfaro for the lone purpose of keeping runners honest isn’t such a bad idea after all. The three-time league leader in passed balls is only a Band-Aid on a problem in need of a splint.