Pitchers are being more aggressive with Mets hitters, who are not adjusting. What's worse, when the Mets put balls in play, they're unluckily hitting them right in to the other team's gloves.
Similarly, opposing base runners are being aggressive and forcing the Mets to be a better fielding team than they were even during the recent winning streak. It's a bad combination. It'll work itself out as long as the veterans and coaching staff get to work and adjust to the adjustments. I'm not worried. This is why it's nice to have a cushion...
In terms of the other team being aggressive on the bases, I think part of this is because of the inexperienced rotation of catchers behind the plate. However, this is something that has been going on for years with this team, be it because pitchers have been slow to the plate or because Travis d'Arnaud was struggling with his release...
Tomas Nido hits a two-run double at Citi Field (Photo: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
These days, with d'Arnaud (Tommy John surgery) out for the season and Kevin Plawecki (broken hand) also on the disabled list for at least two weeks, veteran Jose Lobaton and rookie Tomas Nido have been forced to pick up the slack.
Lobaton may be a veteran with 400 games under his belt, but he has just five with this specific pitching staff. Similarly, while Nido has experience catching these pitchers from last September, in the minor leagues and during Spring Training, he's still just 24 years old and now getting his first regular dose of calling pitches, setting up, knowing the situation and throwing out smarter, faster big-league base runners than he sees in Vegas.
Don't be dissuaded, Nido is talented, previously desired by other teams and a very good defensive catcher. But, right now, in this situation, he looks overwhelmed and that is totally understandable.
To combat the situation, the team's pitchers and catchers can only do what they can do, which is throw over to first base more to hold the runner closer, they can do more pitch-outs and mix things up so that the opposition is less confident to make a move to second and third.
On the other hand, Sandy Alderson could try to acquire another catcher...
However, my hunch is he isn't going to make a trade for a prominent catcher until he has a better idea of how long Kevin Plawecki will be out with a broken hand. As of right now, Plawecki is simply resting the hand, which is what he is supposed to do. In time, he'll be reexamined and begin his rehab.
Jose Lobaton returns to the dugout in St. Lucie (Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
If it looks like he could potentially be out for a few more months, I bet we hear more substantive rumors about the Mets asking about J.T. Realmuto (Marlins), Blake Swihart (Red Sox), Jonathan Lucroy (A's), Wilson Ramos (Rays) and Roberto Perez (Indians).
In the meantime, 34-year-old veteran C Miguel Montero is now officially a free agent after being released and rejecting a minor-league assignment by the Nationals. MLB insiders aware of his situation say his people have reached out to the Mets, who I assume have interest (given their situation).
The Nationals signed Montero to a non-guaranteed, $1.3 million deal because they were uncertain about rookie catcher Pedro Severino and Matt Weiters, who was returning from an oblique injury. However, Severino has looked great and Weiters is now healthy so, bye bye, Montero...
Montero, 34, has lost a lot of power in recent years, but he is still has a good eye and gets on base by walking and needling singles. He had always been a terrific fielding catcher and great job keeping runners from stealing bases. He struggled controlling the running game last season, but made public statements blaming Cubs pitchers and their slow deliveries more than his throwing arm.
It would not surprise me to see the Mets ink Montero to a deal and send Nido back to the minors. That said, the Mets will likely try to let Lobaton and Nido float as long as possible, while keeping an eye on Plawecki, before doing anything...
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!