Mets Spring Training Question 13: Third-string Catcher
With pitchers and Molinas reporting to Port St. Lucie in 13 days, Mets question #13 is this: who is — as Jerry Manuel might ask — the backup to the backup backstop?
Sure, there are more pressing matters to deal with during spring training, but it’s still a fair question, and one that needs to be answered in the six weeks between mid-February and Opening Day. And I’m not even sure who the Mets have as candidates.
There are two “non-roster” invitees to spring training who are catchers: Lucas May and Rob Johnson. Neither is particularly auspicious. I think the Mets still have Dusty Ryan, who toiled in Buffalo and Binghamton last year. German-born Kai Gronauer is presumably an option. Further down the line are youngsters Francisco Pena and Juan Centeno, two 22-year-olds who are nowhere near ready for prime time.
If you ask me, I don’t have an answer; I have no idea what might separate May from Johnson from Ryan from Gronauer — they’re all unknown quantities to me. But, I imagine someone will show something during spring training to surge ahead as the Mets #3 catcher, ready and waiting in Buffalo.
What do you know about these backstops? Can you clue me in on who might have the inside track, and why?