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No deals in works: Mets caught in bind behind plate

Kevin Plawecki’s hand still sore; Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton remain best solution at catcher.

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson speaks

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson speaks at a press conference to re-introduce outfielder Jay Bruce after signing a three-year contract at Citi Field on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

With Kevin Plawecki and his fractured left hand likely still weeks away from returning, general manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets have considered external alternatives at catcher but have not come close to adding a new player.

Plawecki, initially given a three-to-four-week timetable, is now going to be “at least four weeks,” Alderson said. His grip strength is not improving and he is still experiencing pain.

“The progression with these injuries is not linear,” said Alderson. “Once he shows progression on the grip strength it can happen rapidly. So it’s still very difficult to say exactly when he’ll be back.”

In the meantime, the Mets plan to roll with Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton, who have offered little offensively but have satisfied the team defensively, in line with the Mets’ stated expectations when Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud (Tommy John surgery) were lost on the same day.

Mets catchers have the worst average (.165) and second-worst slugging percentage (.247) in the majors. Their .304 OBP ranks 12th. Alderson said the Mets have looked at “incremental” and “significant” upgrades at the position, but there aren’t any good matches.

n Alon-so hot

First-base prospect Peter Alonso has put himself on the proverbial map. “Not only has he hit well, but his defense has apparently improved quite a bit. So he’s certainly put himself on the map,” said Alderson.

Alonso, 23, had a .408/.505/.776 slash line with seven homers and 19 RBIs heading into play Tuesday with Double-A Binghamton and hit a three-run go ahead homer in the ninth inning late Tuesday night. He was named Eastern League Player of the Week.

n Around the bases

Michael Conforto went 0-for-4 with a strikeout Tuesday, snapping his streak of reaching base in 20 consecutive games to open his season. Amed Rosario’s 0-for-4, two-strikeout effort dropped his average to .226, the lowest it’s been since April 18 . . . Lefthander Steven Matz (back tightness) was “tender” Monday after throwing a bullpen session Sunday, manager Mickey Callaway said. He was not available out of the bullpen Tuesday, as had been a possibility, but is still scheduled to start Saturday.

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