Already on the disabled list for the second time in less than two months, Travis d’Arnaud is quickly becoming a liability for the New York Mets.
Though he has never put up great offensive numbers, d’Arnaud has always been looked upon as a catcher that could handle himself with the bat, when he isn’t injured of course.
In a short career thus far, d’Arnaud has exceeded the 100-game plateau only once, his rookie season in 2014. While he had his highest average to date in 2015 (.268), playing consistently has always been his main issue.
Through 5 seasons at the major-league level, d’Arnaud has appeared in only 303 games and has exceeded 300 at-bats in a season only once in his career (2014). While his average is low this year (.203), he hasn’t even amassed 60 at-bats for the season (59). What’s upsetting is that he has already exceeded his home run and RBI totals from last season. But how can you continue to rely on a player who just can’t stay healthy?
From a New York Mets standpoint, he was the focal point of the trade that brought him to New York back in 2012. Centering around Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, the Mets also acquired some pitcher named Noah Syndergaard, who is also on the disabled list (shocker).
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Since his arrival into the Mets organization, his career has been flooded with injuries. From a fractured foot to concussions to broken hands, the only thing more consistent than d’Arnaud’s injury history is his inability to throw out runners on the bases. It has gotten so bad that the Mets are forced to use Rene Rivera on days Syndergaard is scheduled to pitch (though he’s sporting a .323 average).
When he is healthy enough to get behind the plate, d’Arnaud is sporting a caught stealing percentage of 23% for his career. Whether he is always injured or healthy enough to play 150 games per season, that number is pathetic. How can a team rely on a player, more importantly the catcher, who misses 50% of a team’s games and can’t throw batters out? Unless he’s hitting like Mike Piazza, I’d say that player should be replaceable at any cost.
"“Again, until the doctor examines him I don’t know what to tell you except there’s a concern because he’s hurt,. And two days, he’s still pretty sore today, there’s still some swelling there so we’ll have to wait until the medical people look at him to see what kind of a time frame they’re looking at.” –Terry Collins on d’Arnaud’s injury, via NJ.com"
In what has become a very concerning issue for New York, injuries have always been in the DNA of d’Arnaud. In a game against the Phillies back in April, it all started when he attempted to throw out a runner at second and contacted Aaron Altherr’s bat. Hurting his wrist, he was placed on the DL and it was more of the same for both the Mets and d’Arnaud.
Coming back a couple of weeks later, he was removed from a game in early May against the Atlanta Braves when the same wrist he hurt in April tightened up. While both d’Arnaud and manager Terry Collins said they weren’t worried about the extent of the injury, here we are two weeks later and he hasn’t appeared in a game since.
While Rene Rivera has played well this season, the Mets need a consistent bat behind the plate. That’s why one of their biggest needs next off season should be finding a catcher who is not only durable, but can actually throw out those things called runners who hang out on those big white bases all over the diamond. Obviously you can’t just find the next Ted Williams, nor should they be looking for that. But for a team that has gotten nothing out of the catcher position for the last two plus seasons, and haven’t had a catcher since Paul Lo Duca, that is a huge issue that needs to be addressed immediately.