Mets top prospect Travis d’Arnaud went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in last night’s 9-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
In his last ten games, d’Arnaud is batting .158 with nine strikeouts in his last 38 at-bats and overall the young catcher is batting .143 (8-for-56) with an on-base of .234 and a .233 slugging percentage.
Manager Terry Collins has recently dropped d’Arnaud to eighth in the lineup, and expects him to start figuring things out at the plate eventually.
“He’s a real sharp guy, he’s going to get it, and he’s going to know what he has to do when he comes in next year to play at the quality we need him to play,” Terry Collins said last night.
D’Arnaud, 24, has also struggled throwing out base runners as well and 10 of the last 12 stolen base attempts against him have been successful, the first stolen base against Jon Niese this season, a ball which d’Arnaud threw over Omar Quintanilla‘s head and into center field. The Indians would go onto stealing four bases against him as they seemingly ran at will.
The Longbeach, California native has also struggled defensively behind the plate.
“He’s had a couple of balls get by him,” catching coach Bob Geren explained. “Some are not necessarily his fault but some I think maybe he can block and catch after he gets a feel for the pitching staff.”
Collins says it’s too early to start worrying about d’Arnaud’s slow start to his career.
“I just think that we’ve got to reserve our judgment on where Travis is offensively and make sure that he continues to play, understand what it takes to be successful here.”
Hitting coach Dave Hudgens believes the problem lies with him trying too hard to impress at the plate.
“He’s trying to do too much and trying to show everybody what he can do, I’m sure,” he told Marc Carig of Newsday.
Nobody, including d’Arnaud himself, are blaming his struggles on the foot injury that forced him to miss over three months of the season.
While, I’m not too concerned as of yet myself, I do believe that it may end up leading the Mets to acquiring a veteran catcher to back him up for next season as opposed to going with Anthony Recker or one of the other minor league options.
But certainly, d’Arnaud’s struggles are clearly not what anyone expected and all were hoping to see him burst out of the gate and hit the ground running.