With the New York Mets sending catcher Travis d’Arnaud to Triple-A following his latest slump, it’s become evident that d’Arnaud is not ready to be a contributor at the major-league level, and the Mets are in large part to blame for rushing him to the big leagues last season without enough experience in Triple-A and preparation for the big leagues.
In his minor-league career, d’Arnaud has just 86 games of experience at Triple-A, which is a little more than half a season. That may be enough time, but keep in mind that those 86 games are over the course of nearly two full seasons. He was limited to 67 games in 2012 before being traded to the Mets due to injury, and another injury limited him to 19 games in Triple-A last season. Most of those games were early in the season, and once he returned from injury last year, the Mets were quick to promote him to the big leagues, where he hit .202/.286/.263.
With all of those injuries, d’Arnaud never got an extended stay in Triple-A to adjust to high-level pitching. The closest thing was the first half of the 2012 season, which was more than a year before he made his big-league debut. He never had an opportunity to go through a prolonged slump and find a way out of it in Triple-A, leaving him unprepared to deal with such a slump in the big leagues.
The Mets should have given him as much time in Triple-A as possible last season before promoting him, considering all of the injuries that have forced him to miss time. The team should have realized that those injuries, especially the one he suffered early in 2013, stunted d’Arnaud’s development and prevented him from being a finished product who was ready for the majors.
New York needed d’Arnaud to become a meaningful offensive contributor this season, but he hasn’t done that, hitting to a line of .180/.271/.273. Despite his contributions defensively, d’Arnaud’s lack of hitting has become a huge void in the Mets’ lineup, which has cost them this season, and in that sense, they are paying the price for rushing him to the big leagues.