During Sunday’s Spring Training game against the Washington Nationals, Steve Gelbs talked with New York Mets catcher Omar Narvaez about a couple of things. The highlight of the interview came when Narvaez invited Francisco Alvarez over, put his arm around him like a little brother, and continued on with sunflower seeds flying in their direction from teammates.
It wasn’t so much what Narvaez said as much as how he presented himself that feels like a good sign of things to come. The veteran backstop is clearly embracing the role of mentor.
The Mets signed a good one when they picked up Omar Narvaez this offseason
Signing Narvaez wasn’t just about improving the catcher position this year. The Venezuelan native is the perfect guy to show Alvarez what it takes to make it in the big leagues. Even if our expectations for Alvarez far exceed what Narvaez has accomplished, taking anything he can from this well-rounded backstop is a huge bonus.
Everyone already knows the one part of Alvarez’s game the Mets are hoping to see him improve most is his defense. Narvaez has been a steady presence behind the plate. Working alongside his countryman closely this spring can pay off big time for the Mets down the line. At least this seems to be the hope for the front office who seemed to handpick Narvaez.
Narvaez is taking on more than a Josh McCown catcher role for the Mets. He’s going to start the majority of the games for the Mets this year alongside Tomas Nido. Alvarez’s inevitable promotion remains unknown. While they can, as much of Narvaez’s knowledge and talent needs to rub off on the kid.
Through this clip alone, we can see how well the two have already attached to each other. A decade apart in age, they seem intertwined with a similar goal in mind. They may never actually share the same roster—at least not for a couple of months. Both sides have embraced each other in spite of this. In 22 years we know one of the first people Alvarez will thank when he’s inducted into Cooperstown, right? We can only hope so.