Travis d'Arnaud has responded well to his demotion to the minor leagues, mostly by tearing the cover off the ball. d'Arnaud has destroyed Triple-A pitching, hitting .444 with six home runs and 16 RBI's during his two weeks with the Las Vegas 51's. The Mets are extremely pleased with his progress and are planning on promoting him back to the major league roster during their upcoming series with the Oakland A's, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports.
While it is true the Pacific Coast League where Las Vegas plays is hitter friendly, the Mets are encouraged by his approach at the plate. d'Arnaud's first two series were also played away from the hitter's haven that is Cashman Park, the 51's home stadium that has been compared to Coors Field. Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters that the demotion had to do with restoring d'Arnaud's confidence, and the Mets feel as if he is ready to make a return. Bringing d'Arnaud back now also keeps his option available for next season if the Mets need to use it again.
The Mets will have to demote one of their current catchers to make room for d'Arnaud, and Rubin is also reporting that the Mets are still debating that choice. Anthony Recker, who is hitting .198 with two home runs and eight RBI's on the year, opened the season with the Mets but has an option remaining. Taylor Teagarden, who has hit .143 with one homer and five RBI's, is out of options and would have to pass through waivers if the Mets want to keep him in their system. Teagarden also could refuse the assignment if he clears waivers and test free agency.
While Recker has been a slightly better player than Teagarden, he could be the one to go if the Mets really value Teagarden as a backup. One factor that could weigh into the decision is the presence of catching prospect Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki has fared very well with AA Binghamton, hitting .329 with six home runs and 43 RBI's with the B-Mets. If the Mets dumped Teagarden and lost him to another club, they could simply promote Plawecki to Las Vegas and see if he can be a factor for them by the end of the year. There are a lot of factors weighing in this decision, so it's possible d'Arnaud may not be back up until Wednesday while the organization debates this issue.
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