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Friday, June 6, 2014
Collins preaches patience with d'Arnaud

By Adam Rubin

CHICAGO -- Travis d’Arnaud went hitless in three at-bats Thursday against the Chicago Cubs before departing for pinch hitter Bobby Abreu. That dropped the rookie catcher’s average to .184. He is 3-for-23 in seven games since returning from a concussion.

Yet Terry Collins is preaching patience.

“When you get to the big leagues and you have a huge buildup and you go through a rough time, everybody is, ‘How come? What’s wrong? What’s wrong? What’s wrong?’” Collins said. “It’s nothing more than trying to battle through some tough times. He’s got 120 at-bats. It’s not like he’s got 400. He’s trying to learn how to hit here. He got 150 at-bats last year (actually 99). You have to show some patience a little bit.”

D’Arnaud said he has no lingering concussion symptoms.

“I feel great,” he insisted.

As for his struggles, he said: “I feel good. I’m just missing balls. I’m popping them straight up instead of driving them. I’ve just got to stay on top of them a little more. That’s it.”

In reality, the Mets do not have viable, major league ready option to supplant d’Arnaud as the No. 1 catcher. Backup catcher Anthony Recker is hitting .200. And neither Juan Centeno nor Taylor Teagarden at Triple-A Las Vegas is the answer for regular playing time. Teagarden does have a June 15 out in his contract if he is not promoted by then.

Purdue product Kevin Plawecki is tearing up the Eastern League (.326, 6 HR, 37 RBIs in 172 at-bats), but it’s too soon for him. He has only two months of Double-A experience on his résumé.