BREAKING: Kevin Plawecki's hand is broken, out for foreseeable future https://t.co/fKY5BVFs6B— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) April 13, 2018
Travis d'Arnaud is already on the shelf with a partially torn UCL, which leaves the Mets both without either of their Major League catchers just 11 games into the season, and wondering where to turn now.
We know Jose Lobaton is the next man up. Once d'Arnaud makes a decision on whether he'll have Tommy John surgery, he'll likely be placed on the 60-day DL. That will allow the Mets to add Lobaton to the 40-man roster and call him up from Triple-A Las Vegas. Lobaton had a pretty miserable season in Washington last year, and is a career .218/.295/.324 hitter. So that isn't exactly setting the world on fire. Tomas Nido, who was called up on Wednesday, is a defensive wiz, but there are questions as to whether his bat is ready for prime time.
And still, there's no reason to panic.
I understand the knee-jerk feeling that the Mets need to go make an addition. It certainly wouldn't hurt, but any team that Sandy Alderson approaches for a trade right now knows they have the Mets over a barrel. JT Realmuto? Keep dreaming. In talks with the Nationals, the Marlins demanded Victor Robles -- one of the best prospects in the game -- and others. The Marlins' return would have to be huge to ship off Realmuto, who, by the way, is also hurt and on the 10-day DL right now. And it would likely be even bigger with the Marlins recognizing the Mets' need for a catcher.
So right now, the Mets might just have to see what they get out of the Lobaton/Nido duo. I like the idea of Nido's defense behind the dish two-to-three times a week. The Mets have been controlling the running game far better than they have in the past, and Nido would give them another weapon to minimize their opponent's aggressiveness behind the bases. Plus, his framing skills? Mama mia!
Wow Tomas Nido could frame a batter for murder pic.twitter.com/msBqlkeI0I— Good Fundies is short for Good Fundamentals (@goodfundies) April 12, 2018
And in Lobaton, the Mets have a guy who can run into one every once and a while, handle a staff, and -- as we saw when he played against the Mets with the Nationals -- has the ability to come up with a big hit. Is it an ideal situation? No, but neither is rushing to give away the farm and/or erode the impressive Major League depth on this roster.
The Mets should absolutely keep their options open, and if the right opportunity to upgrade the position comes along, they should take it. But the Nido/Lobaton duo provide enough flexibility for the Mets to play the wait-and-see game, so that's what they should do.
UPDATE: Steve Gelbs says Plawecki could return in as little as two-to-three weeks:
As I just reported on @SNYtv, I can confirm @NYPost_Mets report of a fracture for Plawecki. That’s the bad news.— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) April 13, 2018
The good news? I have been told the fracture is minor and the expectation is that Plawecki could be back in as little as 2-3 weeks.
Not only did it seal the victory, Yoenis Céspedes' monster grand slam taught Mets fans a lesson worth remembering this season: Don't panic over a couple of losses. Not with this team.