Mets catcher conundrum taking shape behind No. 1 option Francisco Alvarez

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Francisco alvarez Mets
New York Mets’ Francisco Alvarez hits a two-run double during the sixth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field, Monday, May 1, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

It appears the Mets have tipped their hand regarding how they’ll be handling their impending log jam at the catcher situation. 

Francisco Alvarez has continued to run away with the starting-catcher gig as he’s quickly developed into one of the top power-hitting catchers in the game. Over his last 20 games, he’s slashing .309/.382/.706 (1.088 OPS) with seven home runs and 17 RBI. His eight home runs this season rank second among catchers in Major League Baseball despite his 104 at-bats ranking 20th.

His performance has made what might initially have been a tougher decision all the easier for the Mets, who a few weeks ago had five catchers within their ranks to potentially push for playing time in the majors.

While Tomas Nido was dealing with dry-eye syndrome and Omar Narvaez sidelined by a calf strain, the Mets brought in Gary Sanchez and demoted Michael Perez as a healthy catching option behind Alvarez. But the 21-year-old star in the making continued to hit and when Nido was reinstated from the IL over the weekend, Sanchez was designated for assignment and picked up by the San Diego Padres.

Tomas Nido Mets
Tomas NIdo (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

For now, Nido is Alvarez’s backup but Narvaez — who was signed this winter to lead the originally-forecasted platoon — just had his rehab moved to Triple-A Syracuse to indicate that he is close to being reactivated, too. 

Upon his return, Nido is more likely to get the boot unless the Mets want to carry three catchers. Such a decision would be a perplexing one considering that would mean either sending down fellow youngster Mark Vientos or trying to cut ties with the likes of Daniel Vogelbach or Tommy Pham to make room on the roster for a trio of backstops. 

Considering how limited production has been out of the designated hitter spot, Narvaez nor Nido would add much of a punch to it — and the Mets have remained staunch on their viewpoint that Alvarez is in the majors to catch.

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