New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez joined the team on April 9. He has already built a rapport with the Mets pitching staff, one that could potentially lead to some distaste in the clubhouse if Alvarez were to be sent back down to the minors.
Andy Martino reports that the Mets' veteran pitchers are delighted with the progress Alvarez has made behind the plate during his short time in the big leagues.
“Alvarez’s framing skills and arm have always been strong. When he arrived in the big leagues last month, however, there was a feeling in the clubhouse that his game-calling and work with pitchers still needed improvement,” Martino wrote. “Over the past few weeks, pitchers have been extremely impressed by his rapid progress. One pitcher suggested that if the team options Alvarez, the staff will be angry.”
Alvarez's bat and defense have translated at every level so far, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's able to adjust another part of his game in order to stick with the Mets. The rookie backstop is thriving in May with consistent playing time. Alvarez has a .968 OPS with eight extra-base hits and nine RBIs in 16 May games.
The Mets will have a logjam at catcher soon enough. Tomas Nido and Omar Narvaez are currently sidelined with injuries but are expected to return at some point before the All-Star break. New York also has Gary Sanchez, who took his first at-bats with the Mets last weekend.
Francisco Alvarez has the best chance of any player to be the catcher of the future for the Mets. That doesn't mean the team feels the same way about him for the 2023 season, which could lead to some turmoil in the clubhouse.