Travis d’Arnaud had a monster game tonight for the Las Vegas 51s going 3-for-5 with a double and two home runs against Colorado Springs. The 51s hit six home runs in the sluggers paradise en route to a 14-7 win.
D’Arnaud is 6-for-10 in two games since being demoted. He was the subject of a lengthy discussion by Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt who each speculated how long the young catcher would have to remain in the minors if he continues to rake. Their responses ranged from 3-5 weeks or 50-100 at-bats.
They each agreed that everyone knows he can hit in Las Vegas, but that he had to ditch the uppercut, forget about home runs and just hit line drives to all fields. Hernandez concluded, “I’ve always loved his swing until he started going for home runs. He’s not a home run hitter.”
All three also said that his confidence or lack of it was a big issue with d’Arnaud, but that should be an easy fix once he tastes success again during his time in Vegas.
Sandy Alderson also cited d’Arnaud’s swing and confidence as the keys to returning to the majors.
“I think Travis needs to go down without the pressure of playing every day at the major league level, get his swing back and get his confidence back.”
It’s nice to see Travis go down and get off to a great start like this.
Terry Collins told reporters at AT&T Park that the demotion of Travis d’Arnaud to Triple-A Las Vegas should not be viewed as just a one-week demotion to send a message or straighten out his problems.
D’Arnaud’s stay in the minors will “be for a lengthy period” and any future promotion this season “will be subject to his performance.”
“It’s going to take him a while to where we think it’s time to bring him back up.”
“Right now you got to get your swing and when you come back tear it up like everybody expected.” Collins told the dejected catcher.
D’Arnaud, 25, was hitting .180/.271/.273 at the time of his demotion. The centerpiece to the R.A. Dickey trade two winters ago, d’Arnaud just hasn’t been able to get it going at the major league level.
Teagarden, 30, was hitting .280/.402/.548 at AAA Las Vegas this season. A former 3rd round pick, Teagarden has spent time in the Majors with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles before signing with the Mets for the 2014 season.
D’Arnaud went 0-for-3 on Friday night and grounded into a pair of double plays, telling reporters afterward, “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 had just four hits in his last 41 plate appearances, batting .113 during that 11 game span. His offense has been woeful, but his defense hasn’t been that much better, with d’Arnaud owning the worst defensive WAR among all catchers in the majors, both qualified and unqualified.