Mets to call up Plawecki after d'Arnaud fractures hand
By Joe Trezza
NEW YORK -- Long viewed as either a valuable trade chip or much-needed insurance, Kevin Plawecki will prove to be the latter as the Mets will call up their No. 2 prospect to replace the injured Travis d'Arnaud, GM Sandy Alderson announced on Sunday.
An exam on Monday confirmed that d'Arnaud has a metacarpal fracture in his right hand, the result of being hit by a fastball from Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos in the Mets' 7-6 win on Sunday. The Mets said that d'Arnaud will wear a splint for three weeks, after which it will be determined if he can resume baseball activities.
The loss of d'Arnaud served as a second blow in an injury barrage that soured what should have been a happy afternoon for the Mets. By hanging on Sunday, New York completed its first four-game sweep ever of the Marlins and extended its Major League-leading winning streak to eight games. But the Mets lost much more -- an entire battery in one inning -- as d'Arnaud's injury shortly followed the fractured forearm reliever Jerry Blevins sustained in the top of the frame.
"They're both very upset," said manager Terry Collins. "We have to pick up the pieces and move forward."
That means Plawecki gets the Major League call earlier than expected. Alderson admitted that while he believed the 24-year-old was "close" to ready, the circumstances expedited his callup. An offensively polished catcher, Plawecki hit .309 with 11 home runs in 101 combined games between Double-A and Triple-A last season. He was off to a slow start this year, hitting .229 in eight games for Las Vegas.
Zack Wheeler was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Plawecki.
"If he's coming, he's going to play," Collins said before knowing of Plawecki's promotion. "Can he handle it here? We will most likely find out."
D'Arnaud extended his team lead in RBIs to 10 after going 2-for-3 with a run-scoring single before his injury. Recently promoted to the No. 2 spot in the lineup in place of the injured David Wright, d'Arnaud has seven hits and two home runs in his last five games. He showed improved footwork and arm strength also behind the plate by throwing out speedster Dee Gordon attempting to steal second on Saturday.
"I can't stress enough how invaluable Travis has been over the first two weeks of the season," Collins said.
After d'Arnaud was hit on the base of his right hand, below the pinky, he walked to first base under his own power, but left after an on-field examination by Collins and a club trainer.
"When we had him squeeze the first time, he couldn't squeeze his hand," Collins said. "When he tried the second time, he still couldn't squeeze."
d'Arnaud, who placed seventh in last year's Rookie of the Year voting after hitting 13 home runs, learned the extent of his injury shortly after in the clubhouse. He appeared postgame with his hand wrapped in blue tape.
"I just put my head down, cussed up a storm and had to walk out," d'Arnaud said. "It is what it is."
What it is is the third significant injury to affect this Mets team this week. Wright remains on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. Blevins could be out months. Alderson wouldn't put a timetable on the lefty, but for comparison, Giants right fielder Hunter Pence fractured his forearm in early March and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
d'Arnaud was hit in a very similar spot to where Michael Cuddyer was struck with a pitch Tuesday. Cuddyer managed to walk away with just a contusion and played the next day.
Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.