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With a roster crunch looming, Mets’ Francisco Alvarez is making a case to keep the starting catching job

May 19, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Cleveland Guardians during the fifth inning at Citi Field. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Buck Showalter and the Mets are going to have a big decision to make very soon.

With Tomas Nido and Omar Narvaez closing in on a return from injury, Gary Sanchez recently joining the roster, and Francisco Alvarez thriving, New York could be looking at a logjam behind the plate in the near future.

There’s been some talk that Alvarez could be sent back down to Triple-A when the others return, since he has minor league options, but the youngster has been doing everything he can to make that decision extremely tough.

With each passing game, Alvarez has been looking more and more confident and comfortable at the big-league level.

The youngster has taken advantage of the opportunity for more playing time with Nido and Narvaez on the injured list. He’s really shined and shown his full potential offensively and defensively over the past few weeks.

In his last 15 games, Alvarez has been one of the top offensive catchers in baseball. During that span he’s hitting .271 with four doubles, four homers, nine RBI, a .364 OBP, and a .968 OPS.

Perhaps most impressive have been his clutch hits over this past week.

With the Mets down to their final out, Alvarez crushed a three-run home run to send the game to extras on Wednesday night against the Rays. Then just two days later, he lined another game-tying hit, this one an RBI single off one of the top closers in the game in Emmanuel Clase.

He’s also been solid defensively, and seems to have earned the trust of the pitching staff.

While Alvarez has given up some stolen bases, his pop time has graded out in the 63rd percentile, and he’s made strong and accurate throws. He also ranks in the 89th percentile in pitch framing.

The 21-year-old has caught the attention of his skipper with his improved play.

“He’s been a tough kid, I love the way he absorbs everything. The effort and the energy has been contagious,” Showalter recently told reporters. “He’s doing really well, we’re proud of him.”

We’ll see what the Mets ultimately decide, but Alvarez has certainly shown he has what it takes to be the everyday catcher for this team now and in the future.

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