Is it time for the New York Mets to give up on Travis d’Arnaud?
Remember a few years back when Travis d’Arnaud was expected to be the main piece for the Mets in the trade that sent 2012 Cy Young Award Winner R.A. Dickey from the Mets to the Toronto Blue Jays?
Well, d’Arnaud is now in his fourth big league season with the Mets and has yet to take off as the solid everyday catcher the Mets (and the rest of the league, for that matter) were hoping he was going to be.
Sure, injuries have played a factor – as d’Arnaud has never played more than 108 games in a season.
Nevertheless, even when he’s been able to stay healthy and in the everyday lineup, he really hasn’t been the productive player the team was expecting to him to be when they acquired him.
After he missed nearly two months, earlier this season, due to a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, he returned to the team in mid-June.
In 55 total games played this season, he’s hit .253 with four home runs, 14 RBI, and a .300 OBP.
His batting average and on base percentage haven’t been terrible, but the fact that he’s played 55 games and has only collected 14 RBI is something the Mets should definitely be concerned about.
New York’s offense, as a whole, has struggled hitting with runners in scoring position for a majority of the season, but d’Arnaud has been a major source of that.
He’s had 40 at bats this season with runners in scoring position and has only five hits in those at bats (.125 average) with eight RBI and seven strikeouts.
Unfortunately, the Mets don’t have many other options at the catcher position.
As a backup for d’Arnaud, the Mets have 33-year-old catcher Rene Rivera who’s only had a small amount of success this season.
In 43 games this season, Rivera is batting .227 with five home runs, 24 RBI’s, and a .294 OBP.
Rivera has played less than d’Arnaud this season, but has 10 more RBI; hitting .250 with two home runs and 17 RBI’s with runners in scoring position.
Not to mention, Rivera is the much more reliable defensive catcher.
I’m not saying that the Mets should give Rivera the everyday job, but they should split time between both catchers more equally.
In this case, with d’Arnaud’s playing time decreased, it almost forces him to deserve his reps.
Other than Rivera, the Mets really don’t have many other options.
Highly touted catching prospect Kevin Plawecki has received plenty of chances with the big league team last year, and earlier this season, but never really got himself comfortable at the big league level.
With the roster expanding to 40 players on Thursday, Plawecki could possibly return to the big league team next week. And maybe if d’Arnaud continues to struggle, Plawecki could see some playing time as well.
If the Mets want to get back to the playoffs, they need to find some production out of their catchers – and it needs to happen fast.
What we’ve seen so far from d’Arnaud has us asking one question: can we officially label him a bust?