The New York Mets have decided to recall catcher Travis d’Arnaud before their series at home against the Oakland A’s. d’Arnaud was demoted after hitting only .180 in his first two months of this season.
His demotion lasted a mere 16 days. With Triple-A Las Vegas d’Arnaud seemingly found his stroke hitting .436 with six home runs and 16 RBI in 15 games. Some of those numbers may be inflated by the hitter friendly environments of the Pacific Coast Leagues but the consistency of hard hit balls is a promising sign and the confidence boost could only have been helpful.
Production from the catcher position has been virtually nonexistent this season. Between d’Arnaud’s struggles, Anothony Recker’s inconsistent performance (.210, 2 HR, 10RBI, 38 K) and Taylor Teagarden’s inability to effectively replace d’Arnaud (.143, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 9 games) it is obvious that the Mets did not want to wait to recall d’Arnaud.
The remaining question mark of the situation is who will be removed from the 25-man roster to make room for d’Arnaud. It’s unlikely for the team to keep three catchers, meaning Teagarden and Recker are on the chopping block. Recker has been with the team all season but does have a minor league option remaining if the team chooses to use it. Teagarden has not had much playing time to show what he can do and would have to face waivers, which could mean his departure from the organization.
d’Arnaud was a key piece in the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays but so far in his major league career he has struggled offensively. In 70 career games he is hitting just .189 with four home runs and 14 RBI. Where he is successful, is his management of a young pitching staff.
The Mets remain alive in a very weak National League East but remain in need of offensive sparks. They certainly hope that d’Arnaud can supply that for them. d’Arnaud will likely be thrown right back into the lineup and given the majority of the playing time over Recker/Teagarden as he is still the team’s best offensive option behind the plate.
It also may help d’Arnaud to play two consecutive games at home. His average at Citi Field is, oddly enough, almost 40 points higher than his road average. If d’Arnaud gets his bat going he can provide important help for Lucas Duda at the back end of the batting order as well as being put in key RBI opportunities.
UPDATE: Taylor Teagarden has been placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. This opens a roster spot for d’Arnaud. The Mets will still have to make a decision regarding Recker and Teagarden but the injury has bought the team an extra 15 days at least.