Per Anthony DiComo, the New York Mets have announced the demotion of rookie catcher Travis d'Arnaud to Triple-A Las Vegas, moments after last night's heartbreaking 5-4 loss to the Giants. In a corresponding move, the team has selected the contract of Taylor Teagarden, who is on his way to San Francisco for Sunday's matinee.
d'Arnaud had been hitting an abysmal .180/.271/.273 so far before getting sent down. Part of his struggles could be attributed to bad luck, as evidenced by his 17% strikeout rate and .200 BABIP. Nevertheless, he's not exactly making strong contact, as his 15% line drive rate is way below the league average (20%). He has looked lost at the plate at times, especially after coming back from a concussion.
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Teagarden has been hitting .282/.405/.533 in Las Vegas. A third-round pick by the Texas Rangers in 2005, Teagarden's previous big league stint came with the Orioles last season, when he posted a .480 OPS in 62 plate appearances.
On the back of a five-game losing streak, a shakeup is definitely needed. Picking d'Arnaud as the scapegoat, however, is quite a blow to the development of the young catcher. Following injury-derailed campaigns in 2012 and 2013, many expected him to finally have a breakout season in 2014. But as is often the case with catching prospects (see Wieters, Matt; Mesoraco, Devin), it takes time for them to adjust to the big leagues. Hopefully d'Arnaud can make the necessary adjustments down in Triple-A and bring a rejuvenated bat with him for the next call-up.