Mets’ Francisco Alvarez could begin catching Friday to continue 2023 MLB push

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Francisco Alvarez Mets
Francisco Alvarez (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

New York Mets catcher and top prospect, Francisco Alvarez, is expected to begin catching as soon as Friday, manager Buck Showalter said on Wednesday afternoon from Port St. Lucie. 

The 21-year-old is working his way back from offseason surgery on his right ankle.

“We’re just being cautious like we said earlier, same thing, nothing’s changed,” Showalter said (h/t SNY). “We targeted where he would catch and he’s right on it… with his ankle. Everything else is fine. They said it would be a good idea to wait, so we will.”

It will be imperative that Alvarez catches this spring training considering his defense is considered the final hurdle to clear in his development. Already considered one of the top power-hitting catchers of the future, his ability to call a game and man the backstop clearly still remains a question mark considering his limited experience working with MLB-level pitching.

Francisco Alvarez Mets Jacob deGrom
Francisco Alvarez worked with Jacob deGrom during the pitcher’s rehab start last summer. (Scott Schild/The Post-Standard via AP)

Because of that, Alvarez’s outlook of making the majors this season currently seems dim given the message relayed by the Mets throughout the offseason. General manager Billy Eppler said last month that they were going to wait for the “complete package” before giving the youngster his full-time MLB call-up. 

This coming after Alvarez said that he will “100%” be on the Mets’ Opening Day roster. 

“If Francisco is on our club, if he’s on our team, or if he shows up, we want to make sure we can catch him because the long-term trajectory for this young man is to be able to catch,” Eppler said. 

It has taken out the possibility of him catching on in the majors as a full-time designated hitter, at least to start the season. The Mets are currently projected to go with a two-man catching rotation of Tomas Nido and Omar Narvaez. 

Alvarez made was a late-season call-up last season, making his MLB debut on Sept. 30. He went 2-for-12 with a home run and double across five regular-season appearances.

For more on the Mets and Francisco Alvarez, visit AMNY.com