Travis d’Arnaud will be recalled to the major leagues when the New York Mets begin their two-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday. D’Arnaud has earned the promotion beyond a shadow of a doubt. He’s batting .444/.483/.926 with six home runs in 54 at bats with Triple-A Las Vegas — impressive numbers even for the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. The question now is, which catcher will be removed from the 25-man roster to make room for him on the Mets?
The candidates are Anthony Recker, the 30-year-old gym rat who has home run power (on the rare occasion he makes contact), and Taylor Teagarden, the 30-year-old veteran of seven major league seasons.
Teagarden appears better defensively to the naked eye and seems to handle pitchers well. Take it for what it’s worth, but he was behind the plate for Bartolo Colon‘s best outing of the year when he threw eight innings of one-run ball, and he also called Zack Wheeler‘s first career shutout. Teagarden has not fared as well at the plate. He hit a grand slam home run in his first game as a Met, but he hasn’t hit much overall. He’s 4-for-28 in the major leagues this year and has looked over-matched much of the time.
Recker has also struggled at the plate this year, but he had a couple of good games in a row against the Miami Marlins. He went 3-for-7 with a double and an RBI. He hasn’t been bad behind the plate, and he’s thrown out 38 percent of potential basestealers.
It’s pretty much a coin flip between these two guys. Teagarden has more major league experience and may be able to mentor d’Arnaud, but it’s not like he’s Jerry Grote. By default, the Mets should keep Recker on the major league roster. He does have pop, and Teagarden has just looked too bad at the plate this year.
With any luck, the Mets will not need to rely on any other catcher when d’Arnaud comes up. If he can bring his hot bat with him from Vegas, d’Arnaud could provide the kind of offense from the catcher position that the Mets haven’t seen all year.