Mike Nickeas didn't necessarily come into Spring Training as the favorite to be the backup catcher but some people (me) just kinda decided Spring Training would play out and he would ultimately make the team. However, yesterday Adam Rubin reported the scouts have liked what they've seen from Rob Johnson. At first I wondered what they could see in Johnson that Nickeas didn't have. They are basically the same player, strong defensive catchers that have never really shown much at the plate. I just couldn't think of what Johnson could be doing that impressed scouts so much. But it didn't stop one thought from creeping into my mind. All of a sudden there was the very real possibility that Mike Nickeas would not be on the Opening Day roster.
I had never really thought about a Mets roster with catchers other than Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. They finished the season last year and the Mets didn't sign any big name catchers. Thole and Nickeas were the first catchers in camp, the first ones working with Bob Geren, the first ones to play in the first exhibition game. The Mets said there would be a competition to be the backup catcher but they didn't really mean it. I didn't want them to mean it. But then Lucas May kept hitting (everyone knew he would) and Rob Johnson did something (I'm still not sure what) and there was a competition.
I figured any Bisons games I would be watching this year would be for Zach Lutz, Josh Satin, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Mike Nickeas would be on SNY with the Mets. But yesterday I started to think I would be watching Mike Nickeas with the Bisons too. It really shouldn't be that big of a deal. I've followed minor league baseball long enough that I actually like more players in the minors than the majors. I guess I had just spent all winter hoping this would be the year I would see my favorite player in the majors all season. And he wouldn't start the season in the majors because another player was injured (or still had eight games remaining on a PED suspension). He would be there because that is who the Mets want there. I never should have been thinking that far in advance. I did know there was going to be some sort of competition. I knew the job wasn't really going to be handed to him.
I wanted to dream. I wanted to stop prefacing conversations with my friends with, "You know that minor league baseball player I like?". I wanted it to be, "You know my favorite player on the Mets?". Yes, there is still the real possibility of him making the team. I could be worrying for nothing. After all, he was 2-for-3 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and a run scored today. He spent all offseason working on his swing and the last thing I want to do is doubt that the work will pay off.
But I just can't help but think about that report. And I can't help but think he might be back in AAA to start the season. And I can't help but wonder how much minor league baseball one person can take before it's too much. And I can't help but think about that season that he's not at Spring Training at all.
I know those are stupid things to think about it but I can't help it.
. . .
Let's Go Mets!