No, I’m not going to cry you a river about former Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud after his epic performance against the New York Yankees last night in the Bronx. In spectacular fashion, d’Arnaud poked a ninth inning, two-out, three-run homer to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 5-4 lead over the Yanks and ultimately the win.
D’Arnaud, 30, hit a career-high three home runs in the game with the game-winner coming off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. All fine and dandy especially if you hate on the Yanks the way I do.
But please spare me all the tropes touting how the Mets blew it when they released the oft-injured catcher who never came close to meeting the high expectations scouts predicted when he was once one of the game’s top catching prospects.
Let’s not forget that d’Arnaud was batting .084 when the Mets released him with a .254 OPS, and since 2016, he had an underwhelming 84 OPS+ in parts of four seasons.
The Mets released d’Arnaud after he batted 2-for-23 in 10 games after being activated from the injured list. It was probably one of the rare moves that made sense for GM Brodie Van Wagenen, as new backup Tomas Nido has been an upgrade both offensively and especially defensively.
I was more bothered by what D’Arnaud said after the game than anything he did with his bat on Monday. Asked to compare his his new team to the Mets, d’Arnaud said:
“I don’t like comparing the teams I’ve been on, but I will say that there’s a lot of energy here. There’s a lot of hope. A lot of fight.”
Or in other words, there’s NOT a lot of energy, or a lot of hope, or a lot of fight with the Mets. He may be right.
One big takeaway for me, is that d’Arnaud has become quite the Yankees-killer for Tampa Bay, and in 11 games against the Bombers this season, he’s hitting .314 (11-for-35) with four home runs and a 1.143 OPS.
Now I can certainly understand some Mets fans lamenting d’Arnaud’s performance as an ex-Met, after all that’s why we’re called fanatics.
However, I expect more from beat writers and columnists, and from what I saw most of them did a great job tamping down all the hindsight running rampant on Twitter.
But then David Lennon tweets out his article, “D’Arnaud Shows Mets Fans What They’re Missing.”
Seriously? That’s something I’d expect from the lunatic fringe of Mets Twitter, not from a writer who has a paywall on all his content. Hey Newsday, you think I can get a credit for that?
Look, there’s a dozen things I can kill Brodie Van Wagenen for in this failed Mets season and I’m not just referring to the Diaz and Cano trade.
But what I’m not going to do is rake him over the coals for releasing a catcher most fans wanted gone anyway. Be better than that.