Travis d'Arnaud remains at camp

Travis d'Arnaud looks on during a spring training Travis d'Arnaud looks on during a spring training workout at Tradition Field. (Feb. 13, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

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JUPITER, Fla. -- The Mets still plan on having Travis d'Arnaud begin the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. Nevertheless, the top catching prospect remains in major-league camp because the organization believes he will benefit from continued work with the team's pitchers and coaching staff.

Keeping d'Arnaud in camp this late is a risky proposition. If he were to be injured between now and Opening Day, he would begin accumulating major-league service time, which would grant him an extra year of salary arbitration. Nevertheless, after Monday's 3-2 win over the Cardinals, general manager Sandy Alderson said the risk is worth taking.

The Mets caught a glimpse of the looming injury risk Monday when d'Arnaud drew contact during a play at the plate, but he emerged unscathed.

"I'm feeling loose and just having fun, man, not trying to overstress myself and overthink everything," said d'Arnaud, who went 2-for-3 with a double to raise his average to .345.

Duda goes the other way

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The Mets have long wanted Lucas Duda to get comfortable using all fields, which is why manager Terry Collins was encouraged by what he saw Monday. Duda's two-run homer went to the opposite field.

"That is one of the biggest things in spring training . . . to get him to understand the great power he's got to centerfield and to left-centerfield," Collins said. "It's certainly good to see it."

Extra bases

Shortstop Ruben Tejada homered in his first spring training at-bat but has gone 2-for-33 since. He's hitting .088 after Monday's 0-for-3 performance against the Cardinals . . . Flu-like symptoms kept catcher John Buck from reporting to camp . . . The Mets' bullpen totaled 32/3 scoreless innings against the Cardinals, capped by a scoreless ninth by closer Bobby Parnell.

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