Mets star catcher is making progress toward returning from surgery

New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) picks up a bunt and throws out Detroit Tigers centerfielder Parker Meadows in the fourth inning at Clover Park
Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

A day after Mets manager Carlos Mendoza revealed to the media that high-leverage reliever Brooks Raley would miss the rest of the season after needing to undergo season-ending elbow surgery, the first-year manager revealed more positive news before Wednesday’s matinee against the Cleveland Guardians.

Francisco Álvarez is getting closer to returning from injury

New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning at Citi Field
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco Álvarez has been out of the Mets lineup since April 19, after Álvarez tumbled rounding first base and jammed his thumb into the dirt. After undergoing testing, it was revealed that the 22-year-old tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and required surgery to repair the tear.

Now, it appears that Álvarez is getting closer to rejoining the lineup.

“He’s doing a lot more nowadays. He’s already catching, swinging the bat, hitting off the tee, hitting soft toss,” Mendoza said.“I think he’s scheduled to take BP with us when we get back home over the weekend. Progressing well. So, yeah, a lot of good reports on him.”

There was some concern about Álvarez returning to catch right away, but the 22-year-old is also making strides behind the dish.

“He’s got a splint there that is helping, but yesterday he caught,” Mendoza said. “He’s scheduled to catch off a velo machine today. And like I said, BP on the field this weekend, so progressing well.”

Álvarez was slashing .236/.288.364 with one home run and eight RBIs through 16 games this season before the injury.

Who will the Mets send down when Álvarez returns?

When Álvarez is ready to return to the Mets lineup, it will likely be Tomás Nido who heads back to Triple-A. The 30-year-old has improved offensively since 2023, slashing .246/.270/.361 across 22 games, with two home runs and four RBIs.

Unfortunately for Nido, Omar Narváez is out of minor league options, so he would be out of the organization if he left the Mets’ active roster. However, if Narváez doesn’t turn it around by the time Álvarez returns next month, he could be the one getting the boot off the roster.

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