PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The reason behind Travis d’Arnaud’s descent last season surely goes beyond straightforward fixes and remedies. But the Mets believe that in one critical area, simplicity is a key.
“What we’re trying to do with Travis is to try to get him to repeat the same swing every day,” hitting coach Kevin Long said Friday. “Travis can change like the wind at times.”
Even in individual at-bats, Long said he noticed that d’Arnaud’s bat angle and hand position might change from pitch to pitch.
This year, his setup in the batter’s box is different. Gone is the bat wrap that got so extreme that his bat pointed toward the pitcher. Gone is the leg stride that added unneeded length to his swing.
“He just got away from some stuff that had been real ly beneficial for him in the past,” Long said. “I think more than anything, his stride had gotten a little too big. At the end of the day, the more that your stride goes, the longer your swing becomes.”
Long even sought some advice from Yoenis Cespedes, who confirmed the problem he saw developing last season. Said Long: “He [d’Arnaud] does too many things.”
The Mets are banking on improvement from d’Arnaud, 28, who hit .247 with four homers.
Zack Wheel er likely will throw a bullpen session Sunday, his first throws off a mound since he experienced elbow discomfort earlier this week. Wheeler, who hasn’t pitched since 2014 because of Tom my John surgery, reported no issues playing catch . . . David Wright is expected to throw Sunday for the first time since neck surgery . . . Jeurys Familia was excused from workouts to deal with a personal matter. He is expected back Saturday.