D'Arnaud is typically slotted around the seventh spot in the order, but will head all the way up to bat behind Curtis Granderson during the Mets' second game of their series against Colorado. He will be behind the plate and should be rested up after getting a day off for Thursday's outing.
The Nationals called up Triple-A catcher Pedro Severino earlier Friday, and he will back up Wilson Ramos while Lobaton is out. Lobaton hasn't played since since July 19, and has hit just .194/.301/.361 during the course of this season.
Severino spent less than a week with the Nationals earlier this season, but only collected three plate appearances during his time in the big leagues before going back to Triple-A Syracuse. The 23-year-old catcher was batting .259/.307/.324 with two home runs and 17 RBI with Syracuse at the time of his promotion Friday.
With Jon Lester on the mound for the Cubs on Friday, David Ross -- who regularly catches Lester -- will get the start behind the plate. Contreras started at a different position five of the last six times Lester was on the mound, but the returning Chris Coghlan will enter the lineup Friday instead. With Coghlan providing another option in the outfield moving forward, Contreras' playing time could take a bit of a hit.
With Tyler Flowers on the 15-day DL, Pierzynski has been seeing an increased role behind the plate, and although he is hitting just .215 on the season, the 39-year-old has been solid since the All-Star break, hitting .276 with one home run and three RBI.
It appears to be just a routine maintenance day for Rupp who has made three consecutive starts coming into Thursday. He'll be replaced by Carlos Ruiz who's making the start behind the dish and batting sixth. Rupp is 5-for-31 (.161) in 10 games since the start of the second half.
It's rare that a player who projects to stick behind the dish reaches Triple-A as a 22-year-old, and Kelly is a young 22, as his birthday is July 14. The big concern with Kelly was always whether or not he'd hit enough to be useful in fantasy, and the bat has really taken a big step forward this year. He posted a .740 OPS with six homers in the Texas League prior to his promotion. It will likely be a batting average centered fantasy profile, but that will still play, given the lack of useful options at the position. Unfortunately, in this organization, he is unlikely to take over the everyday duties anytime soon, as Yadier Molina is signed through 2017 with a team option for 2018.
While the small sample size looks good, it's clear that he's still working his way back. Cervelli has already struck out six times and hasn't looked comfortable at the plate.
Realmuto reached base four times in what is likely his last start atop the lineup as speedster Dee Gordon returns to the team Thursday. Realmuto has done an admirable job as the leadoff man while breaking out with a robust .313/.347/.417 slash through 326 at-bats this season. It will be interesting to see just how Don Mattingly handles the playing time and lineup now that Gordon is back in the mix, but Realmuto will remain a valuable contributor regardless of where he is positioned offensively.
Of course his absence from the lineup will lead to speculation that a trade is in the works, and indeed, several reports suggest talks have heated up over the past 24 hours. However, it's likely just a standard day off for Lucory, as he has started the last six games. Martin Maldonado will start behind the dish, hitting sixth Thursday.