SAN FRANCISCO - The Mets understood from the beginning that they were asking a lot of Travis d'Arnaud. He arrived in the major leagues last August without having logged enough at-bats in the minors as injuries stunted his development. The Mets promoted him anyway, emboldened by the way he carried himself, even as he flailed at big-league pitching.
But during the last 10 days, as his average sunk far below the Mendoza line, the Mets grappled with the idea of sending d'Arnaud to Triple-A Las Vegas. That finally occurred late Saturday night as the Mets officially demoted their catcher of the future.
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"There's not a lot of room for forgiveness here," said manager Terry Collins, who thinks d'Arnaud might benefit from time away from the daily scrutiny that has trailed him.
High expectations have tailed d'Arnaud since his trade to the Mets in the winter of 2012. He was the centerpiece of the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays.
D'Arnaud earned high marks as a prospect for his offensive potential, but the 25-year-old hit .189 in his first 70 major-league games dating to last season. His struggles had worsened of late, including a 3-for-26 stretch since returning from more than two weeks on the disabled list after his third career concussion.
After going 0-for-3 Friday night, d'Arnaud was hitting .180 this season. The Mets no longer could stomach his work at the plate, even though they were pleased with his efforts behind it.
D'Arnaud's absence may be extended as he works to rediscover his swing. Said Collins: "It's going to take him a while to get going."
With d'Arnaud away, Collins said catching duties will be split between backup Anthony Recker and Taylor Teagarden, who was called up from Las Vegas to replace d'Arnaud on the roster.