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Buck becomes force at plate, not just behind it

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Heading into this season, the Mets understood how much they would rely on John Buck's game-calling behind the plate. They perhaps did not realize how much they would depend on his offense.

Cracking two home runs with a .421 average and nine RBIs over the first five games of the season, Buck has established himself as a force in the middle of New York's lineup. A card-carrying 20-homer slugger as recently as three years ago, Buck watched his production dip significantly in each of the past two years. With the Mets, he is trending in the other direction.

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NEW YORK -- Heading into this season, the Mets understood how much they would rely on John Buck's game-calling behind the plate. They perhaps did not realize how much they would depend on his offense.

Cracking two home runs with a .421 average and nine RBIs over the first five games of the season, Buck has established himself as a force in the middle of New York's lineup. A card-carrying 20-homer slugger as recently as three years ago, Buck watched his production dip significantly in each of the past two years. With the Mets, he is trending in the other direction.

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"It feels good," Buck said. "If I was going to write it up, this is the way I'd do it."

Still, the Mets are wary of using their veteran catcher too often. To that end, they plan to rest him Sunday in favor of backup Anthony Recker for the first time this season.

"He can use a blow like everybody else," manager Terry Collins said.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.

New York Mets, John Buck, Collin Cowgill, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada