PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets intend to expose Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki to different positions on the diamond in spring training. But with a week to go until the official start of camp, the two catchers had a little fun with the idea.
During pitchers’ fielding drills at the team’s spring training complex yesterday, d’Arnaud manned shortstop and Plawecki played second base.
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“We look pretty sharp right now, I might add,” Plawecki said.
Of course, the Mets’ defensive plans aren’t that extreme, though they hope some added defensive versatility will help both players in the long term. Both should see time at first base during camp.
“I’m definitely open to it,” said Plawecki, who hit .219 in 73 games while filling in for d’Arnaud, who battled injuries. “Fiddling around with first base may open up some opportunities as well.”
The Mets consider both to be front-line catchers, with assistant general manager John Ricco saying earlier this offseason that they might even split time at the position. That’s partly because d’Arnaud has yet to stay healthy for a full season, making Plawecki an important piece.
A first-rounder draft pick in 2012, Plawecki, 24, has drawn raves for his defense, and the Mets still believe he has some upside offensively.
“There was a lot of information to take in and I think I learned a lot last year,” said Plawecki, who wound up catching more games than d’Arnaud in 2015. “The offensive numbers are obviously not what I dreamed my rookie season to be, but it happened for a reason and there were a lot of positives to take away.”
Plawecki enters the season with hopes that he’s past the sinus issues that plagued him. He complained of dizziness and had trouble flying on the team’s charter.
Plawecki said he knew surgery to clear his clogged sinuses would be likely, but he didn’t want to miss time in-season. He had the procedure done in December. The surgery was part of a busy winter for Plawecki, who also got married.
With his condition resolved, Plawecki said he’s ready to embrace his role, whatever it might be.
“I think it could definitely work,” Plawecki said of the possibility of splitting time at catcher. “I think the good thing with me and Travis is that we get along really well. I don’t think there’s any reason not to. We’re on the same team and we’re after the same goals.”
n DeGrom ready to talk?
Jacob deGrom might be willing to discuss a long-term contract extension with the Mets.
“I’m a little bit older, so I might be more willing to do something like that,’’ deGrom told the New York Post. “You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal. It’s something I’d have to look into and make sure I agree with it.’
The Mets and deGrom’s agents have yet to actually discuss a contract. The sides could talk during spring training, when such extensions are typically hashed out.