The Mets are debating which catcher to keep around when Travis d’Arnaud returns to the major leagues on Tuesday after having spent the last two weeks with Triple-A Las Vegas. Neither Anthony Recker nor Taylor Teagarden have done much to help their own causes: Recker has a .557 OPS in 110 plate appearances on the season, and Teagarden has an even worse .450 mark in 30 plate appearances.
As Adam Rubin of ESPN New York notes, Recker still has an option remaining. On the other hand, Teagarden would have to pass through waivers before the Mets could assign him to Triple-A. Even then, Teagarden would have the option of rejecting the assignment and instead become a free agent.
d’Arnaud caught fire at the plate while in the minors. In 57 plate appearances with the Las Vegas 51’s, the 25-year-old slashed .453/.491/.943 with six home runs and 16 RBI.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.