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How the Mets plan to move forward without catcher James McCann

NEW YORK — The Mets have not lost a series this season in staking their claim as one of the National League’s best teams. They have, however, lost one of their primary catchers for about six weeks after an X-ray on Friday revealed a broken hamate bone in James McCann’s left wrist.

The revelation came 24 hours after McCann sat for a second straight day in Washington while dealing with what he deemed general soreness in the wrist. McCann told reporters Thursday that he was available off the bench and expected to be “full go” to play Friday. But when his wrist did not sufficiently improve by late Thursday night, manager Buck Showalter said the club opted for tests to search for the cause of the pain.

McCann, who had made 18 starts, was batting just .196 with a homer and two doubles in 64 plate appearances, but he was 4-for-14 in May and playing strong defense behind the plate. To fill the hole on the roster, the club recalled Patrick Mazeika to back up Tomás Nido.

“Kind of sad,” Showalter said Friday, before searching for perspective. “What do they say? Harmony isn’t the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them?”

The Mets have weathered the absence of ace Jacob deGrom, who has started to play catch as he tries to return from a stress reaction in his right scapula, and they have also lost relievers Sean Reid-Foley to Tommy John surgery and Trevor May for eight to 12 weeks with a stress reaction in his right humerus bone. But they’ll now have to move forward with Nido taking on a more full-time role while Mazeika joins the catching mix.

“It’d be different if Tomás hadn’t been catching and Mazeika hadn’t been up here before and our pitching staff wasn’t familiar with him,” Showalter said. “I’m hoping that it’s pretty seamless, but we’ll see.”

Showalter said he expected Mazeika to likely catch Saturday with a day game Sunday. Mazeika, 28, hit .190 with a .253 on-base percentage in 87 plate appearances last season, though he was a clutch performer in some memorable victories while making his first cameo in the big leagues. He was batting .246 with eight walks and one extra-base hit in 19 games this season at Triple-A Syracuse.

The Mets’ highest-ranked prospect, according to The Athletic’s Keith Law, is Francisco Alvarez, a 20-year-old catcher who is batting .213 with a .748 OPS in his first season at Double-A Binghamton. Alvarez, however, will not turn 21 until November and appears in need of significant seasoning at the higher levels of the minor leagues.

The Mets have not gotten much offensive production from their two catchers in the aggregate, but they perhaps did not expect them, either. They entered Friday ranked fifth in the National League in runs scored. They have worn down opposing hitters with professional at-bats and depth.

For now, they will ask Nido and Mazeikas to handle the pitching staff and play good defense. Showalter expressed hope that McCann would be back to contribute soon enough.

“It’s tough,” Showalter said. “I know how much Mac likes being on the club and contributing and being a part of it. But we’re gonna see him again, he’s gonna be contributing again.”

(Photo: Gregory Fisher / USA Today)

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