NEW YORK — The Mets haven’t lost a series this season claiming to be one of the best teams in the National League. However, they lost one of their main catchers for around six weeks after an x-ray on Friday revealed a hama fracture in James McCann’s left wrist.
The revelation came 24 hours after McCann sat out for a second straight day in Washington while dealing with what he considered general wrist pain. McCann told reporters Thursday that he was available on the bench and expected to be “full” to play on Friday. But when his wrist failed to improve sufficiently on Thursday night, manager Buck Showalter said the club opted for tests to find the cause of the pain.
McCann, who had made 18 starts, batted just .196 with a homer and two doubles in 64 plate appearances, but was 4 for 14 in May and played solid defense behind the plate. To fill the void on the list, the club recalled Patrick Mazeika to support Tomás Nido.
“A little sad,” Showalter said Friday, before looking for a prospect. “What are they saying? Harmony isn’t the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them?
The Mets weathered the absence of ace Jacob deGrom, who started playing catch as he tried to come back from a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade, and they also lost relievers Sean Reid- Foley has surgery from Tommy John and Trevor May for eight to 12 weeks with a stress reaction in his right humerus. But they will now have to move forward with Nido taking on a more full-time role while Mazeika joins the infectious mix.
“It would be different if Tomás hadn’t caught and Mazeika hadn’t been here before and our pitching team didn’t know him,” Showalter said. “I hope it’s pretty transparent, but we’ll see.”
Showalter said he expected Mazeika to make up for Saturday with a daytime game on Sunday. Mazeika, 28, hit .190 with a .253 on-base percentage in 87 plate appearances last season, though he was a clutch performer in some memorable wins while making his first major league appearance. He was batting .246 with eight walks and one extra hit in 19 games this season at Triple-A Syracuse.
The Mets’ top-ranked prospect, according to Athleticismof Keith Law, is Francisco Alvarez, a 20-year-old wide receiver who batted .213 with a .748 OPS in his first season at Double-A Binghamton. Alvarez, however, won’t turn 21 until November and looks to be in need of significant seasoning at the upper levels of the minor leagues.
The Mets haven’t gotten much offensive production from their two receivers overall, but maybe they weren’t expecting that either. They entered Friday ranked fifth in the National League in points scored. They wore down opposing hitters with pro hitting and depth.
For now, they’ll be calling on Nido and Mazeikas to manage the pitching staff and play good defense. Showalter expressed hope that McCann would be back to contribute soon enough.
“It’s tough,” Showalter said. “I know how much Mac loves being part of the club, contributing to it and being part of it. But we will see him again, he will contribute again.
(Photo: Gregory Fisher/USA Today)