It’s amazing what a couple of weeks in Las Vegas can do for a person. For most people, two weeks in Las Vegas is long enough to lose all of their savings and ruin their life. But for New York Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud, two weeks in Las Vegas may have turned around his entire life, or at least his career.
The Mets’ young catcher went to Las Vegas in early June completely lost and at a low point in his career. When d’Arnaud was demoted to triple-A the first week of June, he was hitting .180 and was being dominated by opposing pitchers. He was completely void of confidence and had Mets fans starting to fear that he would become a complete bust.
But when d’Arnaud got to Las Vegas, he moved six inches closer to the plate in the batter’s box and immediately went on a tear, hitting .436/.475/.909 in 15 games with six home runs and eight doubles while driving in 16 runs and striking out just five times. Since the Mets brought him back to the big leagues, it’s been more of the same. In 13 games since returning, d’Arnaud is hitting .300 with three home runs, equaling his home run total from the first two months of the major league season.
More importantly, d’Arnaud has been a lot more aggressive and a lot more confident swinging the bat, making it appear as if he’s finally coming around and becoming the player the Mets were promised when he was the centerpiece of the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays.
For the Mets, not only does d’Arnaud’s turnaround mean that Dickey’s trade to Toronto before the 2013 season is finally paying dividends, but it also means they have one less vacant spot in a lineup that’s had trouble scoring runs on a consistent basis. The Mets now have one more productive hitter in the lineup, and Terry Collins has a chance to move d’Arnaud up in the order to put him in situations where he can drive in runs instead of burying him down in the order. Sometimes hitting in front of the pitcher is a tough task for any young hitter.
The Mets have now won five of their last six games, showing signs of being able to save their season heading into the All-Star break, and d’Arnaud has been in the middle of it, with six hits and six RBIs over that span. With d’Arnaud giving the Mets another productive hitter in their lineup, they have a chance to win some of the one-run games they were losing earlier in the season. It’s all thanks to d’Arnaud getting things turned around during a two-week stint in Las Vegas.