In the midst of suffering through a four-game series in freezing conditions, the New York Mets received the terrible news that top prospect Travis d’Arnaud had fractured the big toe on his left foot. An injury of this nature is devastating for a catcher and will cause d’Arnaud to miss significant time for the second consecutive season. Mets fans and any fantasy baseball owners that were anticipating a major contribution from d’Arnaud this season will simply have to wait.
He was off to a solid start at triple-A Las Vegas, hitting .250 but getting on base at a .429 clip. The injury occurred in the top of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s game when d’Arnaud took a foul ball off his left foot. There is no immediate timetable for the injury but a foot injury can plague a catcher all season. It will be about eight weeks before d’Arnaud can resume catching even in a limited capacity.
This is demoralizing for a Mets organization that was trying to get their fan base to overlook their current mediocrity and look forward to a bright future. These injuries at the end of his minor league development stages have been extremely detrimental to his advancement to the majors. The progression and maturation of young catchers is generally a longer process than most positions but d’Arnaud is already 24 with no big league experience.
Barring any major setbacks, d’Arnaud should still make his big league debut this season. However, New York was hoping to have d’Arnaud join the ballclub within the next month or two but now his earliest arrival will be too late to impact the outcome of the season.
John Buck will now have a longer tenure as Mets starting catcher than originally anticipated. Buck has gotten off to a blistering hot start but his statistics peg him as an average offensive catcher. New York’s young pitching staff has raved about Buck’s leadership and ability to call a game behind the plate. With Matt Harvey and Jonathon Niese on the verge of stardom and projected ace Zack Wheeler set to join the club in the near future, Buck’s presence will be helpful.
Continue to use Buck in all fantasy formats while he remains hot and drop d’Arnaud in all formats except for long-term dynasty leagues.