"I think if Nido can string some games together where he gets a good amount of playing time, I think everybody is going to be shocked. You're going to get to see what you saw last year. That wasn't by accident. What happened last year, and that sample size, isn't by accident. That’s going to be him."
James McCann was quite obviously signed to be the starting catcher here. However, McCann is unlikely to be the sort of catcher who can give a club 140 starts behind the plate. There will be ample opportunities for Tomás to prove to all of us that he can contribute enough offense to justify 40 or so starts backing up McCann. I'm sure that nothing would make the Mets (and myself) happier than to have Tomás Nido live up to Garmendia's praise in the article.
One area where I still have some worries about with the 2021 Mets is catching depth. I would like to see the Mets sign a veteran backstop, not only as insurance that Nido doesn't fade offensively, but to cover for injuries. However, in fairness, I understand that any decent backup catcher who the Mets might sign is looking for some guarantee of playing time. If you're running the Mets and sincerely believe that Nido is good enough to be the primary backup, you can't promise that playing time. That simple fact, even more so than the money it would take to sign someone, could well be the reason that no one else has been signed. I get it, but I'm still concerned.
Currently, the depth behind Nido consists of lightly-regarded prospect Patrick Mazeika, 19-year-old prospect Francisco Alvarez, journeyman Bruce Maxwell, and a couple of other minor leaguers. It's probably between Mazeika and Maxwell as to who might be next on the depth chart. Mazeika is a bat-first prospect who struggled in Double-A in 2018 before bouncing back to middling numbers in the same place in 2019. Maxwell is a great story in that he's back to pro ball after a really rough ride, but I don't think the Mets want to see him getting many Major League at-bats in their uniform this season. If I had to guess, Maxwell is probably next up if McCann or Nido go down. Alvarez is a couple of years away in the rosiest of scenarios.
Along with the bullpen, the catching situation is something that I will be paying a lot of attention to this spring. Here's hoping that what I see only increases my optimism for the season.
Thanks for stopping by today. Please stay safe, be well, and take care.
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