In the beginning of the 2018 season, the Mets catching situation was completely different from what it is today. Travis D’arnaud and Kevin Plawecki were set to platoon during the year and have equal playing time. After just four games played, D’arnaud went down with a torn UCL in his throwing arm. He would later opt for Tommy John Surgery and will now miss the remainder of the season. After a bright Spring Training, Kevin Plawecki was set to take the bulk of the games as the starting catcher. Shortly after D’arnaud’s injury Plawecki went to the disabled list with a broken hand after a hit by pitch. The Mets were left with limited options as their catching position was left wide open.
After those injuries, the Mets looked for veteran Jose Lobaton and prospect catcher Tomas Nido to fill in. In just 18 games played, Jose Lobaton was designated for assignment after posting a .152 batting average, a .489 OPS with 14 strikeouts. Tomas Nido would follow a similar fate, posting a .159 batting average, a .390 OPS and 16 strikeouts in 21 games played. Still, the Mets could not find a solid catcher to fill the void and be an everyday player in their roster.
When the Mets dealt Matt Harvey to the Cincinnati Reds, they were lucky enough to get somebody out of it. To the surprise of many Mets fans and even myself, Devin Mesoraco would become a huge impact for this Mets team.
In just 46 at bats with the Mets, Devin Mesoraco has hit five home runs and is batting .261 on the year. Mesoraco provides a huge offensive support the Mets desperately need especially in the catching position, already having more home runs as a Met then all of the Mets catchers this year. Devin Mesoraco also provides the skill of coming up clutch for the Mets. Mesoraco also ranks first in ISO among National League catchers with 0.242 ISO, and the league average being 0.160 ISO. He is also currently 3rd in slugging with 0.473 slugging percentage, while the league slugging percentage average is 0.407. All five home runs Mesoraco has hit this year, all came in the eighth inning or later. His first home run as a Met gave the team the lead in the ninth inning against the Phillies, resulting in a win. Mesoraco also tied the game against the Diamondbacks on May 19th with a two run home run, resulting in a win. He also gave the Mets the lead in the ninth inning on the first game of the May 28th double-header against the braves, later resulting in a loss. This is the type of player the Mets need to have for the future as he provides the ability to keep the team in the game at all costs.
The former 2014 All-Star does have problems with staying healthy, a problem the Mets are more than familiar with. In 2015, Mesoraco signed a 4 year, 28 million dollar contract. He only played a total of 39 games in 2015 and 2016 due to shoulder and hip surgeries and 56 games in 2017. But when healthy, Mesoraco has proved he can provide in a big way. In his all-star year, Mesoraco hit 25 home runs and 80 RBI’s, posting a .273 batting average. When Kevin Plawecki comes back soon from injury, which will be sooner rather than later as he begins rehab games in Las Vegas, he will be able to split games with Mesoraco. This will take the load off Mesoraco and decrease the risk of over working him, and getting him injured.
Mesoraco have given the Mets reason to believe he can carry the load as the injury bug keeps biting the Mets in all positions and in the last year of his contract, he can prove he’s worthy of a nice contract as well. Even if Mesoraco can even come close to the numbers back in his All-Star year, he can become a huge part of this Mets team and can stay in New York for years to come.