In case you missed it, here is Travis d’Arnaud ripping a double into the gap for his first major league hit.
“Finally got it out of the way,” d’Arnaud said, according to ESPN New York. “Thankful my teammates were all there every time I kept coming to the dugout without a hit and they were all backing me up and what a wonderful feeling.”
I love how fluid and level his swing is, which you can get a good look at in the slow-motion segment in the video.
The hit came in final at-bat and 11th overall since being called up. D’Arnaud went 1-for-4 on Tuesday night and struck out twice.
With the decision having already been made that Travis d’Arnaud will not only remain with the Mets when John Buck is activated from paternity leave before today’s game, but also that the young catcher will assume the lion’s share of playing time, the Mets have certainly made the right decision.
“One of the things we wanted to see over the three days is, was he within an acceptable range of performance,” Sandy Alderson told the NY Post. “Certainly, he demonstrated that, way beyond the threshold.”
Alderson cited the additional exposure d’Arnaud will receive to the Mets pitching staff over the next few weeks and the tutelage he can receive from catching instructor Bob Geren as secondary reasons for keeping him in the major leagues.
The most important bond on a major league team is that relationship between a catcher and his pitchers. A good catcher knows each of his pitcher’s capabilities and knows how to get the best out of them in every start. Together they work on a game-plan for success.
Additionally, d’Arnaud will become acquainted with some of the weaknesses and strengths of the opposing batters which will aid in improving his game-calling skills.
I’m not too worried that he’s gone hitless in his first three games. Even Miguel Cabrera would find any hits batting in front of Omar Quintanilla. The take-away here is that he’s taken the walks rather than swinging at air.
As foe Buck, he has served us well as the Mets’ starting catcher this season (sometimes), but now it’s time for him to step aside and let the team move forward with their new catching prodigy as they look to the future.
One small step for the 2013 Mets season, but one giant leap for Mets-kind.
They key piece from the R.A. Dickey trade last offseason, collected two more walks today and is 0-4 in in his eight plate appearances, but none of that matters as the Mets have seen enough to decide that the future is now for their new starting catcher.
D’Arnaud was batting .304/.487/.554 in 78 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas this season before his promotion on Saturday, and despite some jitters he is happy to be here. “I am just trying to take it day by day and trying to have as much fun as I can,” d’Arnaud said.
Describing his debut on Saturday with his parents on hand to watch, the 24-year old catcher said he was awestruck. “It was one of those feelings everyone dreams they can have,” d’Arnaud said. “I can’t even describe it.”
Matt Harvey spoke about throwing to his new battery mate after the game.
“I got to work with him in spring training, so it wasn’t like a completely new person,” said Harvey. “We were not quite on the same page… but I knew that going in… overall I thought he did a great job.”
This is the right move for the Mets and the experience will serve D’Arnaud well when he arrives to camp in the Spring.
And while it may mean a demotion to Las Vegas for Anthony Recker, he’ll be back in two weeks when roster’s expand. The biggest impact will be on Buck, who now eases into a backup role after starting 99 games for the Mets. But he must have known this day coming long ago. He’s a seasoned vet and knows it’s just baseball. Buck won’t be back next season, but Recker could return to resume a backup role again in 2014.
But this is all about the future… With D’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores now both with the team and playing regularly, we get to see both of our top hitting prospects begin what we hope will be long and successful careers with the Mets. It’s almost reminiscent of when David Wright and Jose Reyes both began their major league careers and came into their own together. And just as it was back then, it’s all so very exciting.