With the New York Mets in desperate need of offense, the team has demoted highly touted young catcher Travis d'Arnaud to Triple-A Las Vegas. d'Arnaud has struggled mightily this season, hitting .180 with just three home runs and nine RBI's in 145 plate appearances. This comes after d'Arnaud got off ot a poor start at the plate last season, hitting only .202 over 31 games.
The Mets will replace d'Arnaud on the roster with veteran catcher Taylor Teagarden. Teagarden, 30, was doing well with the Las Vegas 51's, hitting .279 with eight home runs and 19 RBI's as well as compiling a .402 on base percentage. Teagarden and Anthony Recker will likely split time behind the plate while d'Arnaud works on getting himself going with the 51's.
David Wright talked with d'Arnaud after the news came out and told the young catcher to treat it as an opportunity, MetsBlog.com reports. Wright said , "He's hit at every level of the minor leagues. Now it's just a matter of going down there and getting at-bats where you don't have the pressure of performing here." Wright's advice is sound, and a move to Triple-A makes sense for both d'Arnaud and the team at this point.
The Mets couldn't afford to let d'Arnaud continue to be an automatic out at the major league level, both for their offense and d'Arnaud's psyche. d'Arnaud has shown he can hit throughout his minor league career, but he has been short circuited by injuries the last few years. d'Arnaud also can take solace in the fact that some great players have struggled in their first major league stint before going back down to the minor leagues. Former Met Keith Hernandez and Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Mike Schmidt all struggled when they first reached the major leagues, but all were able to eventually get on track and have strong careers.
Las Vegas is also a great place to get d'Arnaud's stroke going. The Pacific Coast League is a hitter's paradise, and it will be good for him to just be able to play without having to answer questions from the New York media about his performance every night. d'Arnaud still has the potential to become a strong every day catcher in the major leagues, and has shown tha his defense and ability to call a game are major league caliber. If d'Arnaud responds well to his demotion, it may not be long before we see him back with the Mets.
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