Always positive and patient, Travis d’Arnaud is starting to be dangerous at the plate again
When he’s played, Travis d’Arnaud has been about as productive a catcher as any in the league.
The problem is, d’Arnaud hasn’t played very much this season, having appeared in only 37 games thanks to two very tough luck injuries in the first half.
But like he always has, d’Arnaud always managed to keep his head up and remain patient – at least publicly – despite spending most of this season trying to get back on the diamond rather than being on it.
It’s that positive patience which perhaps has helped d’Arnaud persevere as he endeavored to shake off the rust from missing about 70 percent of what was looking like a lost season.
Of course, shaking off that rust appeared to be a struggle for d’Arnaud for most of August. He was hitting only .200 with a .690 OPS with three doubles and two home runs in his first 14 games back, challenged with finding consistency while sharing playing time with Kevin Plawecki and Anthony Recker.
That patience appears to be paying off, as things appear to have clicked for d’Arnaud in his last four games.
He’s once again featuring those patented quick hands on pitches on the inner half, and the ball has begun to explode off his bat. And the results have been splendid.
Sandwiched by a day off on Sunday, d’Arnaud has eight hits in his last 19 plate appearances, slugging six extra-base hits with five runs scored over his last four games.
On Monday, he hit a home run to center field estimated at 451 feet, according to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker.
But perhaps one of his greatest contributions since returning to the disabled list came without a swing of the bat.
It was his two-out bases loaded walk in the sixth inning on Tuesday which tied the game for the Mets, prolonging the inning for Michael Cuddyer, who proceeded to give the Mets the lead with a two-run single.
The only thing holding the Mets prized catcher back at this point in his career is being able to stay healthy. He’s been mired by a lot of brutal luck as a pro, suffering impact-type injuries which has sidelined him for a lot of time too often. He’s not so much injury prone as he is unlucky, but they result in the same outcome in that both keep him off the field for extended periods of time.
If the Mets value his bat as much as they appear to, then perhaps they’d consider a transition out from behind the plate in order to keep that bat in their lineup.
That’s obviously not in the cards now. He’s their everyday catcher, and a key cog for them to be successful in that role down the stretch of this season.
But it’s a discussion which may need to take place in the not too distant future.