Mets Travis D'Arnaud Looking to Lock Down Starting Catcher Position
New York Mets rookie catcher Travis d'Arnaud has had a difficult time in 2014. The highly touted 25 year-old was hitting .182 coming into Tuesday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics, but a recent break from the big leagues might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
D'Arnaud picked up a concussion in early May and returned later in the month with an ice cold bat. He went 3-for-26 after returning from the disabled list, and the Mets decided to demote him on June 7 to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Some say nothing good ever happens in Vegas, but the young catcher found his stroke in Sin City. D'Arnaud hit .436 and smashed six home runs during his stint on the farm, and he returned to the major league level on Monday night with a three-run home run.
"I was happy," d'Arnaud said after his first game back. "I hit a few balls hard [Monday] and wherever it ends up, it ends up."
When the season started, the rookie catcher was set to be the starter with Anthony Recker as a capable backup who could play occassionally when d'Arnaud needed a rest. But with injuries and d'Arnaud's struggles at the plate, the Mets have used four different catchers in 78 games with Taylor Teagarden and Juan Centeno also getting time this season.
The Mets also have a 2012 draft pick who could feature later in the season if d'Arnaud can't hold down the position. Kevin Plawecki was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday after demolishing pitchers at the Double-A level. The 23 year-old was hitting .326 with six home runs and forty-three RBI's for the Binghamton Mets.
D'Arnaud went 1-for-4 in a 8-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday. The time out west may have rejuvenated d'Arnaud, but if the youngster fails to consistently perform offensively, Plawecki could become the Mets catcher of tomorrow.
"Showing up to [Citi Field], seeing the stadium, I had a big smile on my face," d'Arnaud said Monday. "I'm just going to enjoy every day like it's my last."