Who Will Backup Travis d’Arnaud?
Travis d’Arnaud was solid through most of the regular season, after a couple of injuries sidelined him early on, but in the last month of the year, and on into the playoffs, his ability to throw out runners lagged. He just seemed dead tired, and while it’s possible this was due to recovery from earlier injuries, the more likely reason is that there was no one really capable of stepping up and giving him a rest.
In 2015, d’Arnaud’s backups were Kevin Plawecki, batting an anemic .219 and barely adequate on defense, Johnny Monell who only hit .231, and was equally average on defense, and Anthony Recker who was absolutely ineffective on offense, and not much better behind the plate. The team suffered seriously both times D’Arnaud was unable to start, and down the stretch, he was playing every game without much rest in support if the playoff run.
None of the current depth at catcher is going to power another run to the post season, so who is going to step up and provide that backup for D’Arnaud? It’s a question that requires a solid commitment for an answer. In a later question, we’ll address how they could fix this problem, but any way you shake it, the Mets are going to need some help behind the plate, even if it’s just to bring in a solid defensive player who won’t be a liability in relief.