Mets manager Mickey Callaway spoke with reporters prior to Sunday's series finale against the Nationals at Citi Field. Here are the takeaways...
Why is Brandon Nimmo struggling and what's the plan?
Nimmo, who is getting the day off Sunday but will continue to do work, is hitting .077/.250/.077 with a league-leading 17 strikeouts in eight games this season. So what's the deal?
"Just digging in on what's going on with him, It's the high fastballs and breaking balls below the zone," Callaway explained. "He's missing them." Callaway added that with Max Scherzer on the mound, Sunday was a good day to give Nimmo a break (with the off-day Monday allowing for a longer mental break).
"It'll come," Callaway said. "It'll come back. He'll be fine. But right now, they're making their pitches (against him). ... Guys just don't go into a slump for no reason. ... They're not making their pitches against Pete (Alonso), and Pete is crushing them."
With Travis d'Arnaud's return, why carry two catchers instead of three?
D'Arnaud was activated from the IL before Sunday's game, with Tomas Nido optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. With that, Callaway was asked why the team opted for two catchers instead of three.
Callaway noted that they thought "it would be more advantageous to carry two," adding that the expectation of getting other players back soon (Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie) also played a role in their decision-making.
Even with only two catchers, Callaway said the team will be comfortable using Ramos to pinch-hit late on days when he doesn't play, while doing the same with d'Arnaud. The emergency catcher in the above scenario would likely be McNeil or Frazier (when he returns from the IL), according to Callaway.
On the future of J.D. Davis
Davis crushed two homers on Saturday, and while Callaway said he "can't tell you how much playing time or how many at-bats he's gonna get this season," he added that "He sees lefties really well. ... this kid has a bright future in our minds."
On the impact Robinson Cano has from the dugout
After his game-winning RBI single on Saturday, Keon Broxton said Cano was yelling at him from the dugout to go the other way, which he did.
"That is the leadership we figured we were gonna get when we acquired Robinson," Callaway said. "He's all about winning, he's all about approach, he's all about the mental side of the game."
With Jason Vargas getting skipped, how will he stay fresh?
Vargas is getting skipped on Tuesday, with the Mets moving up Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard in the rotation to put them on more regular rest.
In order to stay fresh, Callaway -- who noted that "most fifth starters have to go through this" -- said that Vargas will throw bullpen sessions and that he could be available for a game or two in relief -- likely after Monday's off-day.