By now you’ve heard that Travis d’Arnaud has been tearing it up in Las Vegas since his demotion. His line in nine games is rather impressive: .395/.452/.868 with five home runs.
The chatter has already begun as to whether or not the Mets should recall d’Arnaud and place him back in the lineup, as it certainly seems as if a fire has been lit underneath him.
But there are a few arguments against the promotion of d’Arnaud. One is a rather obvious one – a small sample size in a hitter-friendly league is not really the best indication of any kind of actual improvement in his game.
Another has to do with d’Arnaud possibly not being ready for the bright lights of New York City, and says that allowing him to rake in Vegas for an extended period of time would boost his confidence to a level where upon his return, he will be better prepared for success. After all, before this season, he had only played 86 games at the AAA level owing to injuries.
Then there’s this, from ESPN’s Adam Rubin:
“If d’Arnaud spends fewer than 20 days in the minors this season, the option the Mets used to demote him is rescinded, and can be used in a future year if need be. The Mets would like to retain that option if practical, so look for d’Arnaud to return no later than June 27.”
Holding d’Arnaud down despite his success until June 27th would be a wise business decision by the Mets front office, but is it really ethical? It is in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that the MLBPA agreed to, but was this really the intention of the rule? To allow clubs to retain extra control over their players by holding them in the minor leagues for longer than they really deserve?
There are legitimate reasons to keep d’Arnaud down for a longer period, but to pinch pennies is not one of them. If d’Arnaud is recalled on June 27th, we know the reason. And shame on the Mets if that’s the case.
Editor’s Note – An earlier version of this story was screwing up our formatting and had to be taken down. There were some comments lost in the process. I apologize for the loss of reader feedback.