d'Arnaud set to return to Mets for opener vs. A's
Catcher had been tearing it up at Triple-A Las Vegas since his June 8 demotion
When the Mets return home to Citi Field on Tuesday after a week-long road trip, Travis d'Arnaud will likely be with them.
The team announced on Twitter on Monday night that d'Arnaud is expected to return to the Major League team from Triple-A Las Vegas, where he has played since the club demoted him on June 8 following his deep struggles at the plate in the first two-plus months of the season.
The demotion lasted 16 days. d'Arnaud's video-game numbers at Triple-A included a .436 average with a 1.384 OPS, six homers, eight doubles and 16 RBIs in 15 games. Of the 11 games in which he received a full slate of at-bats, d'Arnaud recorded multiple hits in all but two.
The Pacific Coast League is notorious for inflating offensive statistics, but d'Arnaud's resurgence -- which came after he hit .180/.271/.273 in the Majors this season -- went beyond that.
"Hopefully, when Travis comes back, he brings that hot bat with him," manager Terry Collins told reporters on Sunday. "Boy, I'll tell you, it changes that one part of the lineup to be that guy down there that can do some damage and drive in a run, because that's what we've been missing.
"Certainly, we don't expect him to hit .500, but if [going to the Minors] helped and it's built up his confidence and he's changed a couple of things, then when he comes back, he'll be a big boost to us."
Now the Mets have to decide who to remove from the 25-man roster, and the obvious choice is a catcher. The options are Anthony Recker, who has been with the big league team all season, or Taylor Teagarden, who has spent just the last two weeks with the Mets. Recker still has an option remaining, meaning the club could send him to the Minors without punishment. Teagarden, however, does not, so the Mets would have to expose him to waivers and risk losing that organizational depth.
Recker is batting .210/.257/.324 with two homers and 10 RBIs. He's walked six times and struck out on 38 occasions -- one-third of his plate appearances. Teagarden's slash line is .143/.200/.250 in just nine games. His lone homer and four of his five RBIs came on a grand slam.
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.