By Keith Gendron
From the moment New York Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson received Travis D’arnaud as part of the multiple player deal, that included Noah Syndergaard from the Toronto BlueJays in the R.A. Dickey trade in December 2012, D’arnaud has been touted as an offensive force. A catcher that hits with power gets on base and is solid defensively. Even comparisons to Mike Piazza were made, which weren’t fair but regardless, they were made.
So when he was called up finally last year after getting over another injury(fractured foot), we were excited to get a glimpse of this force, as Mets fans haven’t seen much raking in years. But in his very short sample up at the major league level was mostly mediocre and looked overmatched by fastballs even.
But, this is to be expected. It seemed like he was pressing to impress everyone. He was solid defensively and showed off a gun of an arm.
This February he will begin his first major league spring training knowing he is the everyday catcher. He’ll become more familiar with teammates and his surroundings and hopefully remain healthy. Not many people consider that he will be another right handed bat to complement the many lefties in the lineup.
So, I think there is no reason to worry, or go shopping for a third string catcher. This is his time to flourish. And in time will become more comfortable and confident which will slow the game down and will alleviate the overthinking that went on last year at bat. I see no reason if Travis remains healthy, that he can catch 120-130 games and put up numbers like .260, .325, .400….12-15 hrs and 50-60 rbis. Expect slumps, but overall growth this season from the Mets catcher.
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By Keith Gendron
If Nelson Cruz expects to get signed anytime soon, then his expectations of a 4yr/75 million contract may have to be reconsidered. A power hitting rightfielder, turned down the Texas Rangers team option for 2014 of 14.1 million dollars. I understand he is looking for security but after an injury riddled career and a suspension from Major League Baseball last season he maybe should have played a season(clean), to get a better contract in 2015. Over the last five seasons Cruz has averaged 126 games played. 18.5 million is usually reserved for FULL TIME players, unless your name is Jacoby Elsbury who won the jackpot being signed by the Yankees this offseason. But, the Yankees are not going to sign Cruz and the 33 year old who will be 34 early next season should expect something closer to 14 million/year for 3-4 years.
Curtis Granderson signed with the New York Mets this offseason for 4/60 million, Five times in his ten year career he has played in 156 games or more. Last season he was hit by the injury bug, but has played in almost 400 more games than Cruz who has played 9 seasons. Granderson is also a superior defender, a year younger and a positive clubhouse presence who never has been suspended for PED’s.
Dont get me wrong. I would appreciate Nelson Cruz over Chris Young on the Mets for the next 3 seasons, but he has to be on the field. I hoped the Mets would have signed Cruz in November, when they were showing interest, but went in another direction hoping for Chris Young to turn his career around and rebound from playing hurt during his one year in Oakland. When Cruz is healthy he is dangerous. Based on a 162 game season his career averages translate to 32 Hrs and 99 rbi, Granderson’s are 30 and 83 but is more likely to come close to these numbers because he is on the field. The other numbers all can be argued as they do have similar production.
I’m sure Seattle could use another bat to help Robinson Cano and maybe if Cruz remains on the market long enough with his asking price, they’ll have enough money left to get him.