Tuesday, June 24, 2014
d'Arnaud returns, with something to prove
By Kieran Darcy
NEW YORK -- Travis d'Arnaud was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday and immediately put in the lineup by Mets manager Terry Collins.
d'Arnaud will catch and bat seventh Tuesday in the series opener against the Oakland Athletics.
"I feel good," d'Arnaud said prior to the game. "I’m excited to be back with this great group of guys here, and looking forward to playing this game that we all love."
d'Arnaud was demoted following the Mets' 5-4 loss in San Francisco on June 7, after hitting just .180 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 39 games -- a stunning development for the highly regarded prospect.
He tore it up at Triple-A, batting .436 with six homers and 16 RBIs in 15 games for the 51s, which had to boost his confidence. But the 25-year-old said the most important thing was a conversation he had immediately after his demotion -- with himself.
"Like I said when I left, I knew I had work to do. Like I said before I left, it was unacceptable," d'Arnaud said. "So I had a long look in the mirror with myself, and had a good conversation with myself, and found myself."
d'Arnaud did tinker with his swing while in Las Vegas, but estimated his struggles earlier this year were "probably 95 percent mental, (and) five percent physical and technical."
It sounds like the young catcher was thinking a little too much. "Instead of just hitting the ball hard, I was worried about the results," d'Arnaud said.
The manager sounds cautiously optimistic.
"I have no idea what goes on between the ears of players. They’re told all the right things in my opinion, they’ve gotta go apply it," Collins said. "Obviously he went down, made a couple of adjustments which I’ve heard from their hitting guy down there, and the results are outstanding. So I hope it translates into that same type of production up here."