Travis d’Arnaud no longer is the Mets’ starting catcher — that was determined when the team signed free agent Wilson Ramos — but at least d’Arnaud is back in the big leagues after recovering from the most significant injury of the many in his career.
On Sunday, the Mets reinstated d’Arnaud, 30, who made only four starts behind the plate last season before being sidelined with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He missed the rest of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 17.
D’Arnaud entered Sunday’s 12-9 loss to the Nationals as a pinch hitter in the seventh and grounded out to third. He caught the last two innings. In the ninth, he flied out to deep center.
D’Arnaud was 2-for-7 in two rehab games with St. Lucie in the Florida State League.
“It feels good’’ to be back, he said before Sunday’s game at Citi Field. “It’s a long road. It took a village to get me back here and I’m very grateful to be back in the big leagues.’’
D’Arnaud, who has never played more than 112 games in a season in his six-year career, said he spent the extended time in Florida “just getting in sync with a nine-inning game again. I was able to get a lot of working in with throwing and hitting, blocking, receiving, just every little aspect. It was good to go through game situations again instead of just seeing them. So it was a lot of fun and like I said, I’m glad to be back.’’
Catcher Tomas Nido was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for d’Arnaud.
As for d’Arnaud’s playing time, Mickey Callaway said, “We’ll have to see. I think that Ramos is going to need rest on occasion. He’s not going to catch 145 games, so I think we’ll continue to take their temperature every day and see where they’re at mentally and physically and make those decisions based on that and go from there.’’
D’Arnaud said he understands the situation. “Just whenever they need me to play,’’ he said, “I’ll be ready to play.’’