The Mets Need Travis d’Arnaud
For the second straight season, we have been reminded how important Travis d’Arnaud is to the Mets. We are again reminded how much the Mets need him to stay on the field.
Last year, d’Arnaud was only able to play in 67 games with the Mets due to a a broken pinkie and a hyper-extended elbow. When d’Arnaud was able to play, he hit .268/.340/.485 with 12 homers and 41 RBI. Behind the plate, d’Arnaud continued to be a good pitch framer, and he threw runners out at a league average rate. In the games, the Mets were 41-26, which is a 99-63 pace.
When d’Arnaud was injured or sat, his replacements struggled mightily. The Mets had entered with Anthony Recker with as the primary backup. However, with his being a career .185/.260/.334 hitter, the Mets knew they would have to go to somewhere else for offense. At first, the Mets turned to their former first round pick Kevin Plawecki who hit .219/.280/.296. As Plawecki did not hit, the Mets turned to Johnny Monell, who hit .167/.231/.208. As he didn’t hit, the Mets went back to Plawecki. During this time the Mets had a 49-46 record, which is an 84-78 pace. In some ways, if d’Arnaud never returned to the Mets, the team never would have made the playoffs.
With the Mets 36-32 record, that’s where the Mets are. They are on the outside looking in.
They Mets are in this position in large part because of how poorly Plawecki and Rene Rivera have hit. Plawecki is even worse than he was last year hitting .194/.301/.258. Rivera has hit .190/.273/.310. No matter who the Mets pick to play, they can be rest assured that they are not going to get any offensive production from the catcher position. That should change tonight when d’Arnaud returns to the Mets.
It has to change. The Mets need d’Arnaud to have the same impact and offensive production he had last year. If he does, it’ll go a long way towards fixing the problems the Mets are currently experiencing. It could take this team from a team on the outside looking in to a team that is once again in position to win the National League East. With the Mets pitching and bats like d’Arnaud, this team can win the World Series.