Collins Preaches Patience For d’Arnaud, Ojeda Disagrees And Says He’s Lost

An article by posted on June 6, 2014 0 Comments

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“He has no idea what he’s doing up there. He has no idea what pitch is coming, where it’s going, and what he’s going to do with it. D’Arnaud is lost.”

That’s what Bobby Ojeda had to say after d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 on Thursday night. Ojeda ran video and criticized d’Arnaud’s approach and the uppercut in his swing.

“This was a guy who used to square up on the ball and spray line drives to all fields. Now look at him, he’s lost. His zone recognition is lost. D’Arnaud is not hitting an unlucky .186, he’s earning that .186.”

Terry Collins cautioned after the game that d’Arnaud needs to continue developing. ”You have to be patient with young players like him and allow him to develop at this level.”

Ojeda vehemently disagreed. “I respectfully disagree with Terry, players don’t develop in the major leagues they do that in the minors. He should know what he’s doing up there and at the most basic level, he hasn’t a clue.”

“He has a world of potential and it’s not being realized because he’s being allowed to have one bad at-bat after another. He needs to go back to Triple-A and find his swing again. That’s why you are seeing all these swings out of the zone. He’s lost.”     

June 5

I can’t even begin to count the number of emails, comments and questions I get every week from Mets fans regarding outfielder Chris Young. But running a close second is Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud.

The sentiments range anywhere from bewilderment to frustration to out and out anger.

“I’m going to throw a brick at my TV the next time I hear how great he frames pitches.”

“Where the **** is all the power this guy was supposed to have?”

“He’s 25 and he still has no clue how to hit at this level?”

“If  d’Arnaud is supposed to represent our future, we’re in big trouble.”

Regarding d’Arnaud’s defense, one reader pointed out the following in an email:

TDA has the worst defensive WAR among all catchers in the majors, both qualified and unqualified, at -0.4.

TDA ranks 26th in the majors with a 3.87 Catchers ERA which is also behind teammates Anthony Recker (3.29) and Juan Centeno (3.57).

TDA has allowed 15 stolen bases and his .211 caught-stealing percentage ranks 26th in the majors and far behind teammate Anthony Recker (.500) who is third best in MLB.

Look, I get it… d’Arnaud is floundering right now, both offensively and defensively, but hear me out…

Back in April, I expressed my frustration at d’Arnaud batting so low in the batting order – seventh back then, and relegated to batting eighth now. I wrote that d’Arnaud was being setup to fail in my opinion, and I was pretty angry about it.

I’ve gotten to see more of d’Arnaud since then, and have also digested the countless opinions about him from analysts, scouts, coaches and evaluators. Same as you. We’ve all heard what’s being said by all the talking heads on SNY, many of whom have already pulled the plug on him and suggest a swift demotion to the minors. Many of those folks were the same tools screaming to send Wheeler back to Vegas two weeks ago. Sorry, but again I have to disagree.

We have far too much invested in this kid to just toss our hands in the air and say I give up. If there was somebody who I felt was an improvement and was major league ready and could step right in, then maybe I would feel differently. But Kevin Plawecki, who I love, is closest and still a year away.

It would be in the organization’s best interest to stay the course.   

Quite frankly, I wish that Terry Collins took more of an interest in trying to get our top hitting prospects going rather than wasting excess breath and at-bats on aging veterans or players nobody would consider a part of our future.

I wish Collins would show some inclination toward taking different measures and approaches to developing prospects like d’Arnaud, and I have to throw in Wilmer Flores as well.

But developing players and building a longterm future for this team ranks very low on Terry’s totem pole right now as he’s busy chasing down his 90 win pipe dream. The hell with a future filled with sustainable success, I’ve gotta beat the Cubs tonight…

Are there red flags with d’Arnaud? Of course, but many a great catcher developed late in their careers and had similar concerns. It’s all part of the curve. 

I still would like to see what d’Arnaud can do if he were batting second. Yes, we have Daniel Murphy there now, but one, will Murph still be here next season? And two, couldn’t he be just as successful batting fifth or sixth?

I want to see what d’Arnaud can do if pitchers actually had to – you know – pitch to him. We really haven’t seen that yet.

MMO

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.