Rooting for Travis d’Arnaud
In an alternate universe, a New York Mets team assembled by Chaim Bloom is seeing Travis d’Arnaud catching a pitching staff en route to the postseason. Instead of that future, the New York Mets hired Brodie Van Wagenen, who not only failed to build a complete roster, but he would also rage cut d’Arnaud after one of the worst games you have ever seen a catcher have.
To his credit, d’Arnaud would pick himself off the mat.
It wasn’t immediate. After being designated for assignment by the Mets, he would be released and then signed by his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers. What may have been a childhood dream did not last. After just one pinch hitting appearance, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations.
In the span of a week, d’Arnaud had gone from the team where he broke into the majors, his childhood team, and then all the way to the Rays. It would turn out to be the best thing which ever happened to him as he is now the starting catcher for a Rays team who is going to play in the Wild Card Game against the Oakland Athletics.
This is the second time d’Arnaud will be in the postseason. The first time being in 2015. In that postseason, he would hit a number of big home runs with one of them leading the Mets to put a band-aide on the Home Run Apple:
The Citi Field Apple with a band- aid after being injured on Travis D'Arnaud's home run last night. pic.twitter.com/4xZrEMRumn
— Pedro Gomez (@pedrogomezESPN) October 18, 2015
The homer was a solo shot in Game 1 of the NLCS giving the Mets a 3-1 lead in a game they won 4-2. It was the second of two homers he hit in the NLCS and three he would hit in that postseason as he would help the Mets win their first pennant in 15 years.
While he contributed with his bat, d’Arnaud would really contribute with his work behind the plate. With his pitch calling and framing, he helped Jacob deGrom in his two phenomenal NLDS performances. He was there for Matt Harvey starting off the NLCS on the root foot and the Mets almost coming back from 1-3 World Series deficit.
Sure, there would be a sense of unfinished business with d’Arnaud, and that was partially due to the injuries. Still, even with the injuries, he contributed when he was behind the plate, and the Mets pitchers were at their best when he was catching them.
Now, he is catching another staff, and he is in a position to lead them in the postseason. He’s earned this opportunity, and here’s hoping he and the Rays win not just the Wild Card Game but also the World Series.