Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud was demoted to the minors two weeks ago after hitting just .180 in 39 games (and .202 in 31 games as a rookie last season), but now he’s taking his frustration out on Triple-A pitchers in a huge way.
Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League are admittedly very hitter-friendly environments and two weeks is admittedly a very small sample size, but d’Arnaud has hit .432 with six homers, six doubles, and 15 RBIs in 11 games. That works out to a .479 on-base percentage, .977 slugging percentage, and 1.456 OPS.
d’Arnaud has always hit well in the minors and also put up huge numbers at Las Vegas last season, but what he’s doing there right now is … damn. There’s already some speculation that the Mets plan to recall d’Arnaud from Triple-A at some point next week, which goes against the initial reports that they planned to keep him in the minors for a while. I guess a 1.456 OPS will sway some opinions.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.
The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.
Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.
This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.