Here’s tonight’s batting order for the Mets tonight against St. Louis:
Eric Campbell, 3B
Lucas Duda, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Wilmer Flores, SS
Jon Niese, LHP
Juan Lagares, CF
Rafael Montero was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to start tonight in Miami. To make room for him on the roster, infielder Danny Muno was optioned. Here’s tonight’s batting order against the Marlins:
Curtis Granderson – RF
Juan Lagares – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Eric Campbell – 3B
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Ruben Tejada – SS
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – LF
Anthony Recker – C
Rafael Montero – RHP
We all knew the New York Mets would bring up catcher Kevin Plawecki this season. Unfortunately for Travis d’Arnaud, we didn’t think it would be before May.
Opportunities come in the strangest places, and Plawecki got his Tuesday night with d’Arnaud’s fractured right hand. He not only was in the line-up, but will also have the fulltime job until … whenever.
Reportedly, d’Arnaud will be out for at least three weeks. A lot can happen between now and then, but it is hard to believe Plawecki – two hits notwithstanding and his flawless handling of Jon Niese – will light it up in that span to where the Mets will decide he is the answer and d’Arnaud will be thought of in the past tense.
“I think I’ve taken some good strides in the right direction,’’ said Plawecki, who ripped a single to left in the Mets’ four-run fifth for his first major league hit. “Obviously, everything is still a work in progress, but I think I’ve come a long way.’’
It’s great he has confidence, but can we tone down the hysteria just a bit? If Plawecki, who was hitting just .216 with six RBI at Triple-A Las Vegas, is already better than d’Arnaud, he would have been brought up before now.
Manager Terry Collins said the Mets have had a good feeling about Plawecki, and that was before tonight’s 7-1 rout of Atlanta for their ninth straight victory.
“We all felt in spring training that if we lost Travis we would have something coming,” Collins said. “He’s going to be a big league player for a long time.”
However, can we stop with the Wally Pipp analogies? As with Matt Harvey, can we let him do something before putting him into the Hall of Fame? However, if Plawecki plays well, it could lead to some interesting scenarios. For example, would the Mets carry both and send out Anthony Recker?
Would they feel good enough about the impression Plawecki makes to prompt them to trade d’Arnaud? Probably not enough during this season, but perhaps to where it could help shape their off-season strategy.
However, as a catcher, there’s more than at the plate where the Mets are curious about Plawecki’s development. There’s also the matter of his ability to handle pitchers, play defense and throw out potential base stealers.
“I’m happy to get the first one out of the way and that we came out of it with a win,” said Plawecki, who plans to give the ball from his first hit to his parents, who were at the game. “I was happy to be able to contribute, and Niese made it easy for me.”
Plawecki, the Mets’ 2012 first-round pick, also said what most rookies say when they first come up, and that is he’s playing the same game he has been playing his entire life.
Well, not exactly, although tonight was pretty damn close.
The names changed but the numbers remained the same for the New York Mets, who placed David Wright on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained right hamstring and recalled Eric Campbell. Wright underwent a MRI this morning, took a cortisone injection and will be idle for the next two days.
It was the prudent course, especially since Wright has a history of trying to play through injuries. Wright is as tough as they come, but this time he knew he couldn’t continue after being injured stealing second base in the eighth inning Tuesday night.
“A couple of feet before the bag I just felt my hamstring grab,” Wright said. “I thought it might be something that I could stretch out a little bit. But then I took a couple of secondary leads and just realized that if the ball was put in play I wouldn’t have been able to do anything positive, that’s for sure. It took a couple of pitches, and it didn’t get any better. That’s when I thought I’d rather say something and hopefully catch this thing before I make the same mistake I made a couple of years ago, when I tried to play through it and made it worse.
“Anytime you feel something like that, you hope that it goes away. And this just didn’t go away.”
The Mets got away from playing Anthony Recker at third base. There wasn’t a ball hit to him, but the inept Phillies didn’t try to bunt except for one half-hearted attempt. Dumb baseball on their part, but lucky for Mets.
The Mets had no other choice but disable Wright because their other options were weak. Moving Lucas Duda left first base exposed. Moving Daniel Murphy left a hole at second. Using a pitcher would have been a horrible idea.
OK, the Mets got away with it last night, but foolishly they will keep eight in the bullpen and still be left with a thin bench. They were lucky the game didn’t go long, or Travis d’Arnaud wasn’t injured, or somebody else wasn’t hurt.
They foolishly insist on playing with a thin bench. I don’t think that’s a good idea, but then again, I didn’t invent baseball.