Mets rumors: Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki to start? – Metro US

Mets rumors: Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki to start?

Kevin Plawecki (front) and Travis d'Arnaud (back). (Photo: Getty Images)

The New York Mets have been waiting for either Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki to come out of their shell, take the starting catching job and run with it. 

The problem is — and it’s a good problem for manager Mickey Callaway — is that both seem to be doing just that in spring training. 

D’Arnaud was originally the headlining prospect that the Mets got in return for when they traded R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012. However, that sentiment quickly changed when another player thrown in the deal just so happened to be Noah Syndergaard. 

Since making his MLB debut with the Mets in 2013, d’Arnaud has struggled to fit the billing of that catcher-of-the-future billing that came with him from Toronto. While injuries have hurt his development, he’s batted just .245 with 46 home runs and a .309 on-base percentage in five years.

Mechanics have been a major issue for him as he has worked to tweak his batting stance to cut down on his swing time. The 29-year-old has had issues elongating his swing, which has made it look slow while in the box. 

His defense has been even more concerning as he threw out just 17-percent of base stealers in 2017, 10 percent below the league average. 

It looks as though things are finally starting to come together for him. And on both sides of the ball. 

In 31 at-bats entering Monday afternoon, d’Arnaud is batting .323 with a pair of home runs and a .447 on-base percentage. Sunday saw him exhibit the hard work he’s been putting in on the defensive end, making a sliding, spinning throw to nail Manny Machado after the star hit a slow tapper to the left of Noah Syndergaard’s mound. 

“That was sexy,” Syndergaard would say of the play after his outing.

Any other year, d’Arnaud would be slated to receive a bulk of the playing time, but Plawecki has made his case as to why he should see a considerable amount of reps behind the plate himself. 

Drafted by the Mets in 2012, Plawecki hasn’t really proven that he could be a starting catcher at the MLB level, but was forced into the role during d’Arnaud’s injury problems over the past few seasons. In 158 career games, a .222 batting average with seven home runs and 45 RBI is hardly anything to write home about. 

This spring, Plawecki has raised that average over 100 points to .333 with a home run and seven RBI in 12 games, leaving Callaway with a difficult decision. 

“We can put either one of them back there and feel totally comfortable,” Callaway admitted (h/t Fred Kerber of the New York Post). “What great camps they’re having.”