WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: Mike Nickeas #4 of the New York Mets cools off during the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
After their loss this afternoon, the Mets sent backup catcher Mike Nickeas to Buffalo and recalled Rob Johnson to take his place. In 114 plate appearances with the Mets this year, Nickeas hit .168/.241/.228 with 1 home run. Among catchers with at least 100 plate appearances, Nickeas's .216 wOBA has next-to-last in Major League Baseball. Only Nick Hundley of the Padres has fared worse as a hitter.
More than a month ago, Eric Simon suggested it was time for Nickeas to go, and earlier this month, James Kannengieser took a look a just how good Nickeas's defense would have to be to make up for his lack of production as a hitter.
As for Johnson, he's a career .203/.280/.300 hitter in the big leagues, and Mike Fast's research on catcher defense at Baseball Prospectus last year did not think highly of his abilities behind the plate. In Buffalo this year, Johnson has hit .207/.253/.335 with 4 home runs in 178 plate appearances.
Johnson may not be much of an upgrade over Nickeas as a catcher or a hitter, but he did pitch a scoreless inning in a blowout against the Blue Jays earlier this year. Johnson, Justin Hampson, and Jack Egbert are the only three Mets pitchers with a 0.00 ERA this year.