TODAY'S PAPER
50° Good Evening
50° Good Evening
SportsBaseballMets

Mets GM Sandy Alderson upbeat about Travis d’Arnaud’s progress

The Mets’ No. 1 catcher says he no longer lets himself be distracted by rumors about the free-agent market or possible trades.

Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud receives congratulations in the

Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud receives congratulations in the dugout after hitting a home run last Sept. 25, one of his six homers during the season's final month. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Travis d’Arnaud ended 2017 with his best month of the season, and maybe that was enough to quell the speculation regarding his status as the Mets’ No. 1 catcher.

Yes, free agent Jonathan Lucroy apparently is available for the taking, but the Mets appear to believe d’Arnaud’s career is trending upward.

“I couldn’t be happier with Travis’ progress,’’ general manager Sandy Alderson said in an email forwarded by the team. “Last year he had a career high in home runs [16], RBIs [57] and games played [112]. Glenn Sherlock has helped him tremendously with his footwork behind the plate. I look for him to continue to make progress in all these areas again in 2018.’’

D’Arnaud hit .245 last season but .297 in September, when he had six homers and 19 RBIs.

D’Arnaud, who will turn 29 on Feb. 10, is working out in Venice, California. He was married in November. Fellow Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki, who also had a strong finish to the season, was in the wedding party. The Mets also added former Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton, who backed up Matt Wie ters.

“He’s a great catcher,’’ d’Arnaud said of Lobaton, 33. “Every time I talk to him when he came up to hit or when I got up, and he seems like an amazing person. I’m glad I’ll be able to see him and work with him.’’

Some reports suggest the Mets have inquired about Lucroy, who was on their radar in 2016, but he doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade. He totaled only six homers and 40 RBIs for the Rangers and Rockies last season.

D’Arnaud said he no longer pays attention to the free-agent market or trade speculation.

“Maybe earlier in my career, yes,’’ he said. “It’s something that I can’t control. All I can control right now is getting my body ready, getting my mind ready for not only spring training but a 162-game season . . . That’s what I like to think about more so than the free-agent market or what’s going to happen in that aspect. If I would think about that all the time, then it would not only affect me as a player but me as a person. So I don’t like thinking about it.’’

Injuries have plagued d’Arnaud in each of his five seasons with the Mets. “For me, I know it’s taken away months at a time during a season,’’ he said. “It’s something I don’t really like to think about. It’s already happened, I can’t really change the past. I’ve just got to keep working and trying to stay on the field longer and longer every year.

“I think the injuries that have happened to me have all been freak injuries. Last year I threw a ball, I hit my hand on the end of a bat. When does that happen? As far as that label of injury-prone goes, it’s just other people’s opinion. I can’t really concentrate on that. I know what my opinion is about myself, and that is what’s most important to me.’’

New York Sports