Rookie catcher Travis d’Arnaud has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and is expected to be in the starting lineup tonight against the Oakland Athletics. The Mets will be forced to make a corresponding roster move prior to tonight’s game, and are expected to promote prospect Kevin Plawecki to Triple-A Las Vegas to take over as the everyday catcher.
Since being demoted to the minors on June 7th, d’Arnaud has regained some much needed confidence. In the 14 games following his demotion, Travis batted .444 with 6 homers and 16 RBIs. The rookie hit just .180 during the first two months of the season at the big league level.
d’Arnaud was pulled after just one at bat in the 51’s game against the Memphis Redbirds last night. At that point manager Wally Backman told Travis that he was being called back up to the big leagues. Of d’Arnaud’s time in Triple-A, Backman said, “He needed to clear his head a little bit, come down here, have some success and get some confidence built back up.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
By promoting d’Arnaud within 20 days after initially sending him down, the Mets can preserve his final minor league option. In other words, if the Mets had waited until after June 27th to recall d’Arnaud, he would need to pass through waivers in order to return to the minor leagues, leaving him open to be claimed by any team. While the Mets are hopeful that Travis won’t require another trip to Las Vegas, it none the less provides them with a security blanket should he continue to struggle at the major league level.
d’Arnaud’s promotion will trigger a flurry of roster moves for the Mets. Either Anthony Recker or Taylor Teagarden will be dropped from the 25-man roster, though an official announcement has not yet been made. Recker has an option left on his contract, while Teagarden would be subject to the waiver wire should he be demoted. As a result, Recker appears to be the more likely candidate for demotion despite lack luster offensive performance from either player.
Teagarden was behind the plate for both deGrom’s first win and Wheeler’s complete game shut out, placing him in the momentary good graces of Terry Collins, offering further evidence of his safety with the big league club.
Additionally, it is expected that d’Arnaud’s promotion will coincide with the preferment of catching prospect Kevin Plawecki who has been tearing it up in Double-A Binghamton this season. In 58 games, the 23-year old, 1st rounder out of Purdue is batting .326 with 6 homers and 43 RBIs. Plawecki was picked 35th overall with the compensatory selection that the Mets recieved after losing Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins following the 2011 season.
UPDATE: Taylor Teagarden has been placed on the 15-day DL. As a result, Recker’s spot on the team remains safe for at least another two weeks.