PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Eleven months removed from Tommy John surgery, Travis d’Arnaud might start the season on the injured list, Mickey Callaway said Thursday.
Mets decision-makers met Thursday to discuss that possibility, among other topics. They have long said they expect d’Arnaud to be healthy and ready for Opening Day, but now they’re not so sure.
D’Arnaud will catch the second of his back-to-back games Friday. He also has to catch a nine-inning game before camp is over. The Mets are concerned about his hitting and throwing, too.
“The one thing we’re always keeping in the back of our mind is this kid hadn’t swung the bat in real games in a year,” Callaway said.
“It’s not just the catching that we’re worried about. We want this guy to be the best player he can be when the major-league season comes around, and not throw him out there [when] he doesn’t feel like he’s ready at the plate or throwing the ball.”
Callaway recalls Ichiro
Ichiro Suzuki’s career line against Callaway the pitcher: 2-for-5, two strikeouts. Reminded of that Thursday, hours after Ichiro announced his retirement, Callaway recalled a close call.
“I was ahead of him somehow, and I threw a pitch that would’ve hit him in the right hip,” he said. “I threw it and I was like, ‘Oh, watch out, it’s going to hit you.’ And he almost hit it off my face.”
Ichiro’s finale, Mariners-A’s in Tokyo, became everybody’s focus in the Mets’ clubhouse during his final at-bat. There were shouts of “Safe!” as he was barely thrown out at first.
After a four-homer, two-inning dud in his previous outing, Steven Matz bounced back with five strong innings in a 6-0 win over the Marlins. He walked none, struck out three and allowed six hits.