Travis d’Arnaud was once again handed the Mets starting catcher position without really earning it. He has 20 homer potential but that’s if he can stay healthy. So far he’s shown he can’t stay healthy. We heard rumblings after the Mets recent win over the Cincinnati Reds that he has a sore shoulder. Maybe he’s throwing too much because teams with speed realize they can steal at will on him?
d’Arnaud is on the All-Star ballot but I doubt any fan would vote for him. To start this season he’s hitting a paltry .196 with no homers, three doubles and one RBI, but he calls a good game.
This year the Nationals are for real and the race will be a real race. The Reds stole five bases yesterday. It almost cost the Mets the game. It completely took Noah Syndergaard out of his rhythm. I get that he has a deliberate delivery but he gets the ball to the plate quickly and there’s no excuse for guys stealing third on d’Arnaud. Terry Collins continues to make excuses for a sub-par catcher behind the plate. If he doesn’t produce offensively Kevin Plawecki should get his chance. Playing sporadically hasn’t helped him develop.
Here’s the defensive stat line for d’Arnaud this season:
He’s thrown out 18% of baserunners. Three of 14. 31% is the league average.
He has one passed ball and there have been six wild pitches on his watch. Yes, that’s a pitchers’ error but does he ever save a pitcher by making a great play? Why didn’t he play winter ball to learn how to throw out runners? Instead we heard about his improved foot work this spring and it hasn’t carried over to the regular season. The Royals exploited this and if the Mets were to face the Royals again in the fall classic would they go with the same game plan?
The Mets are a real contender and this is the weakest part of their team. They may have a solution but they’re hesitant to go that route. So how much rope do they give d’Arnaud?
At the end of the day the bar has been raised for this team. We all have to hold the players to a higher standard because they aren’t the underdog. They aren’t going to be a Cinderella team this year. They have the pitching and the depth on the bench to make a long run if they can correct a few errors.
The Mets have to look at this problem soon. What if neither catcher is good enough? Better to find that out by the trading deadline and not in the playoffs.
For more Mets history by the numbers, check out Russ’ book: Mets by the Numbers on Amazon or your local bookstore.