One night after delivering a big hit to help the Mets to a victory, Travis d’Arnaud found himself on the bench, perhaps a preview of a playing-time situation that could get muddled.
D’Arnaud essentially is the starter, but Rene Rivera also should get plenty of time behind the plate. Rivera started on Opening Day and again Friday with Zack Wheeler on the mound in the series opener against the Marlins.
Although d’Arnaud is more of an offensive threat, he’s had trouble controlling the running game. Rivera fares better in that department, particularly important against a lineup featuring the speedy Dee Gordon. It’s one reason that manager Terry Collins went with Rivera.
“It seems like if we overplay Travis, we’ve had some injury issues in the past,” Collins said. “We’ll just make sure that he stays fresh. He’ll catch tomorrow night. No matter if Rene gets three hits tonight, Travis is going to catch tomorrow night. We’ll clear that up right now.”
Collins did not say if Rivera will regularly catch Wheeler.
Even if d’Arnaud returns to the lineup on Saturday, Rivera likely will be behind the plate on Sunday when Noah Syndergaard makes his second start of the season. That would give Rivera three starts in the first six games.
After Friday night’s game, the Mets announced they will promote reliever Paul Sewald in time for Saturday’s game. Ty Kelly has been designated for assignment. The Mets will carry an extra arm while going short on the bench . . . One day after his 80th birthday, Mets minor-league assistant pitching coordinator Phil Regan fulfilled a goal: He threw batting practice. “It’s kind of rewarding to go around and see them,” said Regan, who played a role in developing most of the Mets’ homegrown pitchers. “I tell a lot of people it’s kind of like an assembly line when you’re at Ford or General Motors. We’re all part of the assembly.’’ . . . In their search for depth, the Mets have kept tabs on free-agent pitcher Doug Fister, FanRag sports reported Friday, but sources said a signing is unlikely. Jake Peavy also remains unsigned, but he’s not on the Mets’ radar, a source said. . . Tim Tebow went 1-for-5 with a strikeout in the Columbia Fireflies’ 7-0 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets.