NEW YORK -- Backup catcher Rene Rivera was awarded to the Cubs on a waiver claim on Saturday, ending his stint with the Mets that spanned the majority of two seasons. The Mets recalled catcher Kevin Plawecki from Triple-A Las Vegas in a corresponding move.Additionally, to replace recently traded outfielder
NEW YORK -- Backup catcher Rene Rivera was awarded to the Cubs on a waiver claim on Saturday, ending his stint with the Mets that spanned the majority of two seasons. The Mets recalled catcher Kevin Plawecki from Triple-A Las Vegas in a corresponding move.
Additionally, to replace recently traded outfielder Curtis Granderson on the 25-man roster, the Mets activated pitcher Tommy Milone from the disabled list. Milone had been on the DL retroactive to May 24 with a sprained left knee.
Plawecki hit his first homer of the season and caught Saturday's 8-1 win over the Marlins at Citi Field.
"With what's occurred here in the last couple of weeks, I think Kevin Plawecki is saying to himself that this is his ultimate opportunity that he should stay here," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Plawecki spent a little more than a month with the Mets in the beginning of the season before being sent down on May 25. The 26-year-old went 3-for-24 (.125) with four RBIs in 10 games. He batted .328 with 17 doubles, nine home runs and 45 RBIs in 64 games for Las Vegas this season. Over 131 career games that has spanned three seasons in the Majors, Plawecki has hit .206 with four home runs and 36 RBIs.
The final weeks of the 2017 season will essentially serve as an extended evaluation period for Plawecki, as the Mets must make several personnel decisions during the offseason regarding the roster's makeup heading into '18. Plawecki sees the situation as an opportunity, saying that the next few weeks will be important but will hold no more weight than the previous instances he has played in Queens.
"It's not like I haven't thought that way about every other game I've played here," Plawecki said before the game. "Every day, I just try to play as hard as I can, and I've been able to be down in Vegas and put some good quality hours in, put a lot of work in."
Plawecki added that he has been confident in his swing since last season, but he is still seeking consistency, especially at the Major League level.
"I don't want to put too much pressure on myself, just continue to keep playing the same game I've been playing down there," Plawecki said. "Continue to have good at-bats, and just continue to get better. Like I said, I'm happy to be back with these guys, and hopefully we can finish the season strong."
Collins hasn't hammered down the specifics of how he will delegate the catching duties between Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud down the stretch, but he suspects it will be a relatively even split.
"I don't think we're just saying, 'Hey, we're handing the reins over to Kevin Plawecki,'" Collins said. "I think we have to do due diligence and make sure both of these guys are getting ample playing time to show us what they can do. But certainly, Kevin's not just going to sit and play once a week."
Milone, 30, made five rehab starts between Rookie ball and Double-A Binghamton. He went 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA (13 earned runs in 21 2/3 innings). He allowed 28 hits, issued three walks and struck out 14.
The left-hander went 1-2 with a 7.91 ERA in nine games (six starts) in the Majors this year between the Mets and the Twins. In his three starts with the Mets, Milone posted an 0-2 record with a 10.50 ERA.
After a strong start to the season, Rivera finished hitting .230 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs in 54 games this year.
Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.