The New York Mets made headlines on Thursday when they activated catcher Tomás Nido from the injured list and designated Gary Sánchez for assignment, thus altering their catching depth chart. The more notable result of these transactions is that it ensures youngster Francisco Alvarez will remain part of the big-league roster going forward.
Nido, 29, had been sidelined since early May due to vision problems associated with dry eye syndrome. This condition was believed to be the result of a complication from his past LASIK eye surgery. He was never known for his offensive skills, so it stands to reason his vision had an impact on his ability to contribute in this area.
With Nido back in action, the job of starting catcher looks to remain firmly in the hands of 19-year-old Alvarez. Veteran Omar Narváez is still unavailable due to a calf injury suffered in April. All things considered, the Mets sure seem to have found themselves a gem in the youngster. Alvarez has already made an impression on his manager, Luis Rojas, with his poise, patience, and leadership.
Nido’s return should give the Mets some much needed depth behind the plate. He may not have the power or arm strength of Sánchez, but Nido is a solid defender who can handle the basics of catching. His veteran presence can also be a positive influence on young Alvarez.
The Mets might also benefit from the flexibility afforded by being able to move Sánchez if the right opportunity comes along. In theory, the team could get a good return in exchange for the former All-Star, especially if the acquiring team is desperate for catching help.
In conclusion, the Mets’ decisions this week to activate Nido from the injured list and designate Sanchez for assignment have opened up a whole new set of possibilities for the team. It remains to be seen what kind of impact these moves will have on the team’s overall success, but there’s no question that they’ve ensured Francisco Alvarez is here to stay.