Sunday, September 29, 2013
D'Arnaud reflects on first MLB season
By Adam Rubin
Mike Janes/Associated PressNEW YORK -- Travis d'Arnaud finds himself on the bench for the season finale, with Terry Collins noting the rookie had a long season and is worn down. Assuming d'Arnaud fails to appear off the bench in the game, he will finish his first major league season with a .202 average, one homer and five RBIs along with a .286 on-base percentage in 112 plate appearances.
Travis d'Arnaud will maintain his rookie status in 2014.
D'Arnaud will maintain his rookie status for 2014 because he did not exceed 130 at-bats.
"I had a blast here," d'Arnaud summed up his first major league season, which began with his debut on Aug. 17. "It was awesome. It's been fun playing in front of the city of New York and doing what I dreamed of doing."
Collins has talked about d'Arnaud needing to shorten his swing at the plate -- not wrapping his bat, technically -- and the rookie said he is aware of the issue, which contributed to his underwhelming numbers. He was promoted after hitting .304 and posting a .487 on-base percentage at Triple-A Las Vegas, albeit while missing more than three months with a fractured first metatarsal in his left foot, which he suffered behind the plate on a foul ball.
"That was more me trying to hit the ball 600 feet," d'Arnaud said about the over-swinging. "When I would try to do that, I would over-wrap or over-swing pretty much and it would just dig me in a bigger hole."
D'Arnaud's 2012 season had ended on June 25 with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he suffered trying to break up a double play in a Triple-A game.
Sandy Alderson recently said he believed the Mets needed to bring in a veteran catcher this offseason as a hedge because of d'Arnaud's injury susceptibility, but d'Arnaud just labels the injuries unfortunate.
"Just bad-luck injuries -- breaking up a double play and taking a foul ball off the foot," d'Arnaud said. "What can you do? I feel young and healthy."
The good news: Pitchers raved about throwing to d'Arnaud. ESPN Stats & Information recently produced a chart that highlighted d'Arnaud's pitch-framing ability. At the time, d'Arnaud successfully framed pitches so that umpires called strikes in the bottom-third of the zone 82 percent of the time, compared with an MLB average of 70 percent.
"Fortunately for me [Anthony] Recker and [John] Buck taught me a lot about the pitchers," d'Arnaud said. "And then I just communicated with them. A catcher's favorite thing is when a pitcher likes throwing to them. I feel honored that they liked throwing to me."