Travis d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 on Friday night and grounded into a pair of double plays as the Mets fell to the Giants by the score of 4-2.
After the game, a dejected d’Arnaud told reporters, “I got to be better than this. This is unacceptable to me.”
“Every day I show up, I’m ready to play. I’ve just got to battle through this and stay positive. I’ve been through this before. It’s just frustrating. Like I said, I’ve got to do better than this.”
D’Arnaud has just four hits in his last 41 plate appearances, batting .113 during that 11 game span, is hitting .180/.271/.273 overall in 142 plate appearances.
It’s not just his offense that is lacking. Coming into Friday’s game:
TDA has the worst defensive WAR among all catchers in the majors, both qualified and unqualified, at -0.4.
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.
SNY analyst Bobby Ojeda has been advocating a demotion to the minors for the 25-year old catcher who was once considered the jewel of the R.A. Dickey trade.
“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.”
“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.”
Terry Collins, who has been preaching patience for d’Arnaud sounded like his tune may be changing.
“He’s a confident kid and he certainly believes he’s going to hit, because he always has. But there are some things he has to do to be able to start hitting at this level.”
I think I find my own resolve softening in regards to sending d’Arnaud down to the minors.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that Terry Collins failed to set the kid up for success, batting him 7th or 8th from the moment he was first promoted. That’s no way to treat the number one hitting prospect in your organization. Could you imagine other organizations setting up their best prospects to fail like that?
However I now concede that with Terry as manager there is no place for d’Arnaud to go but down, and that he will not be able to hit his way out of this slump at the major league level.
I still believe he has a world of potential, but he won’t realize that potential here while batting eight in one of the worst hitting lineups in the major leagues.
I agree with Ojeda, Travis d’Arnaud is lost. He has lost all confidence that once existed – and believe me he once had a ton of it.
He needs to go back to Las Vegas and recharge his batteries emotionally, rediscover that level swing that always drove the ball with power, and basically revitalize all aspects of his game.