I don’t know what to make of Terry Collins these days… His bias toward his veteran players is so blatant now that he makes no attempt whatsoever to hide it.
This is the third time in two weeks that the Mets manager felt the need to forego any praise of a big hit by catcher Anthony Recker and instead issue his soliloquy on John Buck who was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.
“We are not looking in another direction. We’re being patient. We’re understanding. As I told John, you set the bar so high in April and May that there’s huge expectations that he’s supposed to hit homers all the time. Now when he goes into a slump, everybody turns their sights in another direction. I don’t do that.”
Hey Terry… How about a pat on the back for Recker?
Now please don’t get me wrong… I’m not advocating that Recker is that much better than Buck… But for a team that’s rebuilding and Recker still under team control beyond this season, wouldn’t it be nice to see what he can do with some regular playing time?
We already know what Buck is – a career .230 hitter with a little pop who strikes out in a third of his at-bats and is closing in on 1,000 career strikeouts.
But with 128 at-bats scattered over three years we have no idea what Recker is. He could be the same, he could be worse, or he could be better than Buck. The optimist in me leans toward the latter.
We don’t owe Buck a damned thing. He’s getting his $6 million dollars no matter what and after this season he’s gone. But considering we have Recker under team control for four more years, it would behoove the team to see where and how he fits in if at all.
We all know that Travis d’Arnaud is the Mets’ catcher of the future as soon as he gets here. But so far he has yet to prove that he can stay healthy enough to endure the rigors of a full season behind the plate. He has missed 175 games in the last three seasons and only has 12 games under his belt in the last 13 months.
Another catcher I’d like to see get a cup of coffee at some point this season is Juan Centeno. The 23-year old backstop has long been touted for his defense, but he has been no slouch at the plate either, posting batting averages and on-base percentages of .318/.368 in 2011, .285/.337 in 2012, and .311/.374 this season in Triple-A Las Vegas.
Are we rebuilding? Or is it more important to win 78 games instead of 73 games in 2013? Which is it?
I just wish we’d stop wasting time and start figuring out what we have and which players are part of the longterm solution.