Kevin Plawecki heating up as Travis d'Arnaud rehab stalls

Kevin Plawecki's solo shot in the second was his first home run of the season. Harry How/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins was blunt last week at Citi Field while discussing catcher Kevin Plawecki's hitting struggles.

“This is a great opportunity for Kevin to show he can be an everyday catcher,” Collins had said, alluding to No. 1 catcher Travis d'Arnaud landing on the disabled list with a rotator cuff strain. “Certainly I don’t mean to put a lot of pressure on him, but he’s got to start getting some hits, because that’s one of the things we all said he could do. We all thought he was going to be a good offensive player. And I know he’s frustrated.”

Plawecki’s bat has awoken this road trip.

Plawecki went 4-for-10 with three doubles in San Diego. He then delivered a solo homer against Scott Kazmir in Monday’s series opener to help lift the Mets to a 4-2 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was Plawecki's first long ball this season.

Plawecki’s average still sits at a modest .229, but he will be the first-string catcher for the foreseeable future now that d’Arnaud’s shoulder rehab has hit a snag.

“Like I said in San Diego, I’m just going up there trying to get good pitches to hit and putting my ‘A’ swing on them,” Plawecki said. “I definitely feel comfortable in the box. I’m just going to keep swinging it, keep putting good at-bats together, and just keep trying to hit the ball hard.”

D’Arnaud had shoulder discomfort when he tried to resume throwing on Saturday in Port St. Lucie for the first time since landing on the disabled list on April 26. He had a platelet-rich-plasma injection on Monday in New York and is supposed to rest this week -- signaling his return is still way off.

“I had a text from him after the game,” Plawecki said late Monday. “I don’t think he’s the type of person to really get down. Obviously anybody in his situation just wants to get healthy and get back. Hopefully that helps.”