D'Arnaud rebounded back in a better direction in 2017 after injuries derailed his 2016 campaign. His 2017 numbers were not back to 2015 levels, but at least there was some catcher productivity to write home about in terms of homers and RBI. That is where the statistical compliments end because he hurt you in both average and on-base percentage leagues, but his pitch-framing abilities did help Mets pitching when it was not hurt on the disabled list. It is hard to believe that he is already 29 years old, but that is not a bad thing for catchers since they typically take a little longer to hit their stride at the plate. That stride may come in the form of him returning to his 2015 levels, but him hitting .275 with 20 homers -- as was the prediction during his notable rise through the minors -- seems like a pipe dream at this point.
D'Arnaud will see fewer starts against right-handed pitching in 2018, Kristie Ackert of The New York Daily News reports. "With the way our catchers are, the way they hit, we're going be able to cover opposing pitchers pretty good. Obviously d'Arnaud is really good against lefties and I feel like [Kevin] Plawecki hangs in there really good against tough righties," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Friday. "So I think we'll base who's catching more on that type stuff, (rather) than who (pitchers) prefer to throw to." While d'Arnaud won't be relegated to the weak side of a full platoon -- his .704 career OPS against RHP is actually better than Plawecki's .628 mark -- Callaway seems to be leaning towards a more even split in playing time behind the plate between his two catchers. Seeing a larger share of his at-bats against lefties will likely improve d'Arnaud's rate stats, and a smaller workload could help keep him healthy. The move would also lead to lower totals in HR and RBI and probably result in an overall blow to his already shaky fantasy value.
D'Arnaud went 2-for-2 with a walk, a solo home run and a second run scored in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees. The blast was his first of the spring, and d'Arnaud is now slashing a strong .294/.455/.529 through 17 at-bats. The 29-year-old played a career-high 112 games last season and as a result slugged a career-high 16 homers and 57 RBI, but his rate stats remained mediocre, and even if he can stay healthy in 2018 there's little reason to expect a sudden renaissance from the one-time top prospect.
D'Arnaud agreed to a one-year, $3.475 million deal with the Mets on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports. He gets a healthy raise over the $1.875 million he received in his first year of arbitration. Save for an impressive but injury-shortened 2015 season, d'Arnaud has been a pretty big disappointment, relative to his prospect pedigree. He will enter spring training in a competition with Kevin Plawecki for the starting catcher job, and in all likelihood, the two will split time pretty evenly this season.
D'Arnaud is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Phillies, Matt Ehalt of The Record reports. D'Arnaud will find himself positioned on the bench for the final game of the regular season. Tomas Nido will fill in behind the plate in his stead.
D'Arnaud is out of Saturday's lineup against the Phillies, Matt Ehalt of The Record reports. He has done his best to salvage what had been a mediocre year over the first five months, as he is hitting .333/.373/.741 with six home runs in his last 54 at-bats. Kevin Plawecki will start behind the dish and hit fifth.