The Mets have shown signs of steadying themselves, a welcome reprieve from what has been a turbulent month. They have won four of their last five games, getting hot just in time for a two-game set beginning Tuesday night at Citi Field against the Oakland A's, owners of the best record in baseball.
But even with this recent run, the constantly shifting roster could be in for a few more changes in the coming days, with catcher Travis d'Arnaud heading to New York to rejoin the Mets Wednesday and outfielder Chris Young inching closer to a forced departure.
General manager Sandy Alderson said a recall was imminent for d'Arnaud, whom the Mets still envision as their franchise catcher.
D'Arnaud, 25, did his best to make the decision easy, with scouts sending back reports about a more relaxed demeanor and skyrocketing confidence. Since his sudden demotion June 7, he never stopped producing.
With Triple-A Las Vegas, d'Arnaud hit .436 (24-for-55) with eight doubles, six homers, and 16 RBIs in 15 games. That production was a far cry from the punchless .180 average, three home runs and nine RBIs he had with the Mets.
"He's swung the bat very well and that's not something that can be ignored or totally discounted, given the fact that it's the Pacific Coast League," Alderson said before the move was announced late Monday night. "So we're very pleased with what he's done so far."
The Mets had some added motivation to promote d'Arnaud. If he hadn't been recalled by Friday, he would have been out of options for next year, which would have severely restricted the Mets' ability to demote the catcher again if needed.
That same element of flexibility likely will play a role in how the Mets decide on which catcher will be bumped from the roster once d'Arnaud returns. Neither Anthony Recker (.210) nor Taylor Teagarden (.143) has distinguished himself at the plate. But Teagarden has no option years left and Recker has two, meaning he could be demoted and remain under team control.
With both catchers struggling, Mets manager Terry Collins said d'Arnaud's return would be "a big boost" to the bottom of the lineup, especially if he can bring some of those minor-league results to the big leagues.
Of course, some of the Mets' problems with lineup depth can be traced to Young, who has been a major flop since signing a one-year, $7.25 million deal. The Mets took a chance on Young despite a pattern of decline, looking past his historically low average in hopes of exploiting his power potential and his glove in centerfield.
But he has struggled both in the field and at the plate, hitting just .201 with four homers in 179 at-bats. He's slugging just .313 while watching his playing time diminish.
Those struggles have pushed the Mets to have serious discussions about cutting ties with the 30-year-old Young, according to a team insider, even if it means eating what's left of his salary. But the source said Young is not in immediate danger of being cut, even with centerfielder Juan Lagares just a few days away from coming off the disabled list.
For now, the source said that the Mets appear ready to afford Young a bit more time, especially after he went 3-for-10 with a double and an RBI in the four-game series against the Marlins.
Alderson disputed a published report suggesting that Young would be cut upon Lagares' return.
"There's always a bunch of stuff flying around," Alderson said. "What is wrong is that the report is not accurate, as is the case with most reports based on anonymous sources."
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