New York Mets catcher James McCann is expected to miss at least six weeks. It doesn’t exactly put a hole in the lineup. McCann was hitting only .196/.266/.286 in his first 64 plate appearances this season.
To fill the roster spot, Patrick Mazeika was recalled to share catching duties with backup Tomas Nido. Two light-hitting catchers who will most certainly reach journeyman status if they ever do leave the Mets, it’s the only option the team currently has right now.
It’s also probably what we’ll see them move forward with until McCann comes back.
Why the Mets can’t and won’t do much to replace James McCann right now
For starters, six weeks is only a long time when you’re waiting for a package to arrive. Remember when next-day delivering wasn’t a thing? You’d have to wait six to eight weeks for anything to show up at your house. The 1990s were weird.
The Mets were already getting very little from the catcher spot between McCann and Nido’s weak performances. Mazeika is unlikely to do much other than maybe have a couple of walk-off fielder’s choices. For the next six weeks, we’ll just have to hope the Mets catchers play good defense and aren’t killing too many rallies.
May is hardly the time when notable catchers begin to change teams anyway. Someone like Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs might seem like a wonderful upgrade. However, he’s probably not getting moved for anything short of a king’s ransom.
What’s more, the Mets then find themselves in a position to DFA Nido once McCann does return. Like so many other members of this Mets roster, Nido is out of minor league options. And as irrelevant as he may seem in the grand scheme of things, his starting pitchers like throwing to him. He has been the unofficial personal catcher for several pitchers in recent years from Jacob deGrom to Max Scherzer.
Back in 2018, the Mets were in a similar spot but worse when they lost the duo of Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki in the same week. Nido and Jose Lobaton shared innings behind the plate. Eventually, the Mets went out and made a trade with the Cincinnati Reds for Devin Mesoraco. You may recall they acquired him for a pitcher named Matt Harvey.
If there’s another Mesoraco-type out there, perhaps there is a trade to make but it’ll only be a temporary one unless the club is willing to part with Nido in a month and a half.
Nothing seems to indicate they would DFA him. So, for at least a little while longer, we’re just going to have to hope for the best when the catchers step up to the plate. In Mazeika's first start of 2022, the Mets got just that.