The Mets announced that catcher James McCann has a hamate fracture in his left hand (via Bob Nightengale of USA Today). He’ll undergo surgery and miss around six weeks. Patrick Mazeika has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse in his place.
McCann has gotten off to a rough start, the second season of a four-year free agent contract he signed during the 2020-21 offseason. Through 21 games, the right-handed hitting backstop owns a .196/.266/.286 slash line. That’s a continuation of the .232/.294/.349 struggles he experienced during his first season in Queens, as McCann hasn’t managed to replicate the above-average form he showed for the White Sox in 2019-20.
Nevertheless, McCann has started 18 of New York’s first 33 games behind the dish. The veteran backstop is highly regarded for his work handling a pitching staff, and the Mets have gotten excellent results on the mound en route to their 22-11 start. While he’s out, New York will down to the light-hitting catching tandem of Tomás Nido and Mazeika.
It’s possible New York explores the catching market midseason. Even heading into the season, the Mets’ catching situation looked like a possible area for upgrade for a club hellbent on winning this season. McCann’s early offensive struggles and injury would only seem to increase the likelihood of an eventual external pickup. Willson Contreras and Christian Vázquez are among the impending free agent backstops who could be dealt by the end of July.
Acquiring a rental could allow New York to upgrade their catching corps for the stretch run without impeding the eventual path for top prospect Francisco Álvarez. One of the sport’s most talented prospects, Álvarez is viewed by many as the organization’s catcher of the future. At just 20 years old with only 24 games of Double-A experience under his belt, he probably won’t be a factor in the majors this year.