His debut was made possible thanks to John Buck going on paternity leave for the birth of his third child. Reports surfaced late on August 18 that the Mets will not send d'Arnaud back to the minors upon Buck's return, and he will get significant playing time through the end of the season.
New York is making the right move with its top prospect.
While d'Arnaud hasn't recorded a hit in his first two major league games (0-for-4), he's shown tremendous patience by drawing four walks. He didn't look over-matched at the plate against San Diego pitchers. Despite a couple mistakes behind the plate with his glove, he knows how to receive a pitch and make it look most attractive to an umpire.
The official decision as to whether or not d'Arnaud will stay in the big leagues will come before New York's series opener against the Atlanta Braves on August 20. If the Mets decide to keep him with the club instead of sending him back to Las Vegas, it would be the first time the Citi Field faithful will get a look at what they hope to be the future at the catcher position.
The timing of d'Arnaud's promotion is a big reason why the organization will likely not be sending him back to Triple-A prior to rosters expanding on September 1. If Buck's wife went into labor when she was supposed to (around a week before d'Arnaud's actual debut), then he probably would be heading back to the minors on August 20.
Since that wasn't the case, it allowed d'Arnaud the opportunity to get a week's worth of at-bats in Triple-A Las Vegas. In those 20 at-bats, he hit .400/.586/.700 with one home run, four RBIs, and seven runs scored. Buck's wife not delivering their third child on time bought enough time for d'Arnaud to prove he can handle Triple-A pitching before making his debut in San Diego.
Over the weekend, Terry Collins penciled in a lineup that was littered with young players, including d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, and Juan Lagares. All three of those players made their MLB debuts with New York this year. When you include Zack Wheeler into this conversation, it's clear the youth movement is alive and well in Flushing.
With a 56-66 record as of August 19, the Mets currently stand 19 games behind the Braves in the NL East, and 13 games out of the second NL wild-card spot. It's clear the postseason isn't in the cards for New York in 2013; it's refreshing to see the organization give young players a chance to play every day, instead of blocking them with a veteran who has no future with the team moving forward.
There is absolutely no reason Travis d'Arnaud should be heading back to Triple-A at this point. He proved he's capable of hitting Pacific Coast League pitching again. It would be pointless to send him back to Las Vegas for two weeks before rosters expand on September 1. He has nothing left to prove after 515 games and 2,150 plate appearances in the minor leagues.
D'Arnaud is part of the future in New York, and the experience he'll have getting most of the playing time in the majors through the end of the season will be helpful looking into 2014. He'll have the opportunity to work with starters like Wheeler and Matt Harvey, while getting guidance from John Buck.
The Mets have done a good job with Wheeler and Harvey by getting them a taste of the majors before their first full seasons, and it's nice to see it happening with both Flores and d'Arnaud. Seeing what they're capable of producing and how they could fit into the 2014 blueprint will help Sandy Alderson devise his offseason strategy for building the next year's roster.
Matt Musico's Mets opinion has been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, MetsBlog, Amazin' Avenue, Mets Merized Online, and Rising Apple. He currently serves as the Executive Editor of MetsMinors.net.
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