Aug 27, 2016

Former Mets Backup Catcher: Anthony Recker (2013-2015)

Anthony Vito Recker was born on August 29th in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The six foot tow catcher attended Alvernia College in Reading, Pa. He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 18th round of the 2005 amateur draft.

Recker played in the minors for seven years before getting an MLB call up & actually considered retirement from the game. He & a friend made a pact they would join the FBI if Recker's career did'nt go anywhere back in the late 2000's.

He did show some power in his minor league career hitting 15 plus HRs in both 2007 & 2009. His best year came in 2011 hitting .288 with 16 HRs & 48 RBIs, finally getting called up to the big leagues..

Recker debuted with the Oakland A's on August 25th in New York in a 22-9 debacle in which he caught the entire four & a half hour loss. He played in five games the rest of the season hitting .176.

In 2012 he began the year with Oakland in hopes of making it as backup catcher, but he hit just .129 through late May & was sent to the minors. In August he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Blake Lalli & then was placed on waivers in October.

He was picked up by the New York Mets, where he was to fill in as a backup catcher behind the newly acquired, veteran John Buck. Buck was to take the catching duties until Travis d'arnaud was ready to get to the big leagues full time.
Recker made his Mets debut on April 7th, getting a start behind the plate at Citi Field in a 4-3 Mets win over the Miami Marlins. In the 5th inning he doubled to bring in Ruben Tejada for his first hit & RBI.

On May 10th he hit his first career HR, coming at Citi Field in a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On June 5th at Washington, he had a big two hit three RBI day in a 10-1 Mets win over the Nats. Recker singled off Dan Haren with the bases loaded bringing in a pair & then later doubled home Marlon Byrd in the 5th.

On June 18th he got the call to catch Zack Wheeler in his much anticipated MLB debut at Atlanta. Wheeler struck out seven, allowed no runs on four hits while earning a win, in his home town state.

On June 30th Recker pitched the 9th inning of a Mets 13-2 win over the Washington Nationals, to help out a tired bullpen.

 Although he was only batting .157, he was seeing more playing time from late June to early July & had a strong start to the month. Recker hit HRs in back to back games against the Arizona D-backs at Citi Field collecting three hits. 

On July 9th he homered off Barry Zito in San Francisco, as the Mets took three games from the reigning world series champs. On August 8th, his 4th inning sac fly scored Marlon Byrd in what turned out to be the games 2-1 winning run over the Arizona D-backs.

The Mets traded John Buck at the end of August & Recker was the clubs main back up catcher. In 50 games he hit .215 with 6 HRs 7 doubles & 19 RBIs. Behind the plate he has thrown out 21% of would be base stealers & posted a .990 fielding %.

Recker with Mets Legend Rusty Staub
In the off season Recker married his wife Kelly.

The Mets were confident enough to go into 2014 with youngsters; Recker & Travis d'arnaud as their two main catchers. 

On April 12th, in an inter league contest in Los Angeles / Anaheim, Recker hit a 13th inning game winning HR off Matt Shoemaker. Earlier in the game he had a two run single as well. He hit two HRs in April then would not hit another until July 6th, a three run shot against the Texas Rangers in a 8-4 Mets win. 

On August 11th, Matt den Dekker tied up a game with a 7th inning double at Citizen's Bank Park. Recker followed two batters later with a two run HR, sealing the Mets 5-3 victory.

In his next three games stretching over two weeks, he homered in them all. On August 31st, he hit a three run HR off the Phillies A.J. Burnett leading New York to a 6-5 win over Philadelphia.

On September 7th he blasted a two run shot off the Reds Mat Latos in a
4-3 Mets win at Cincinnati. He added another HR on September 11th.

In 58 games he hit 7 HRs with 27 RBIs nine doubles but hit just .201. But he played a fine defense in a back up role, throwing out 37% of would be base stealers & posting a .998 fielding %. For a brief period he was given the main job as Travis d'arnaud was sent down to fine tune his skills.

In 2015 he began the year backing up Travis d'Arnaud. But when d'Arnaud went down with injury the Mets promoted Kevin Plawecki as their main catcher. This made Recker his backup. He enjoyed his first multi HR game in a May 14th Mets loss at Wrigley Field.

After 19 games he was batting just .143 & was optioned to AAA Las Vegas in mid June.

In 18 games at AAA Las Vegas he has hit 7 HRs while batting .292 while winning the June 29th Pacific Coast Leagues Player of the Week Award.

He returned in late July & played with the Mets the rest of the regular season. He finished up 2015 batting .125 with 2 HRs & 5 RBIs in 32 games. He did not play in the post season.

In November 2015 he was granted free agency & signed with the Cleveland Indians. He played there in Spring Training but was traded to the Atlanta Braves in May. He got promoted after an injury to Braves catcher Tyler Flowers. After just seven games he was off to a good start batting .350 toward the end of July.

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