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John Buck was there for Travis d’Arnaud, but not this time around…

John Buck was a mentor to Travis d’Arnaud, mostly teaching him about the mental part of the game, the young catcher explained last night on SNY’s Mets Hot Stove.

“John was always there for me for any little question I had,” d’Arnaud said. “He was a tremendous help to me in the short amount of time we were together.”

Buck, 33, hit .219 with 15 HR (14 before the All-Star break) and 62 RBI between the Mets and Pirates in 2013. He is still a free agent, reportedly looking for a guaranteed deal.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I found this quote intriguing, because d’Arnaud’s and Buck’s relationship dates back to Toronto in 2010, then resumed with the Mets. I wonder, if by breaking them up, will Travis now feel more ownership of the pitching staff, to the extent that maybe it gives him added confidence and responsibility and propels him to be the player everyone (including himself) believes he can be? If so, I wonder if this factored in to the team’s decision to let Buck go, while letting Anthony Recker, Juan Centeno and Taylor Teagarden compete for the back-up catcher role.

By the way, the Mets had interest in reacquiring Buck. However, from what I could gather, the Mets didn’t want to lock up a roster spot with a back-up catcher, knowing the top spot would go to d’Arnaud. Instead, with Recker and Centeno in the mix, they preferred to sign a veteran back-up to a minor-league deal, like Teagarden. Teagarden has six years in the big leagues, albeit just 500 or so at bats. Nevertheless, he’s young, but enough of a veteran that he could help Travis without overshadowing him.


To see a few minutes of d’Arnaud’s talk last night with SNY, during which he also discusses his admiration for Mike Piazza, and how he’ll approach the plate in 2014, watch this:




19 comments
Antonino Plaud
Antonino Plaud

I don,t like to be over-optimistic but to me Mets are pretty much done with Travis, Reckr and Centeno behind the plate. We expect a lot from Travis, and Recker is a type of guy that doesn,t project the moon but has lots of sun. Defensively Centeno has no rivals he is by far the best of the "trio" but his bat is not yet matured.I love Recker's power.

P.S.Don't count out plawecki yet ( the guy seems to be a hidden prize).

barcamets
barcamets

I hope I'm wrong but for some odd reason Travis dArnaud reminds me of Josh Tole!!

Amilcar Cuevas
Amilcar Cuevas

Yeah I think its better for Travis to be on his own as the man. He's loaded with talent but he doesn't need to be coddled anymore. Its time for him to be the man and to do that he needs to command the locker room. He can't use Buck as a crutch anymore. Its sink or swim time. 

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

Met catching spot has been a veritable offensive black-hole since the last days of LoDuca. Buck was an automatic out after his hot start. I like Recker but when you look at some of the guys the Mets have thrown out there you can clearly understand the team's lack of success. I expect a solid year from TDA but, like Randy Newman once wrote, I've been wrong before.

TurkWendell4Life
TurkWendell4Life

Travis has a little crush on Buck eh? Love is in the air. Brokeback Backstop. 

Ryan Flanagan
Ryan Flanagan

 "The Mets didn’t want to lock up a roster spot with a back-up catcher, knowing the top spot would go to d’Arnaud."


^That makes absolutely no sense....the Mets don't want to field a back up catcher on their roster because d'Arnaud will start? So we don't want to carry a backup? Recker is the backup, but that quote makes no literal sense. 


I think he meant to say, knowing Recker is the current backup, the Mets didn't want to sign another backup catcher knowing d'Arnaud will be the starter?

11gilkey
11gilkey

Enough with John Buck.  He had a great month with the bat.  He was a terrible receiver of the ball and his laziness and inability to frame pitches cost the Mets a lot of runs.  Maybe he was good behind the scenes, but I don't think any of the pitchers shed a tear when he left.  Yet Cerrone and Baron talk about this guy like he was Gary Carter behind the plate.  Stop.  Enough is enough.  What's TDA going to say?  The guy was an a-hole he didn't teach me a thing and he knew nothing about catching. 

ElVPresidente
ElVPresidente

The one thing that always strikes me about TDA? He looks kind of small and frail for a catcher. I realize Buck is bigger than a middle linebacker, but Travis looks like he could use a few protein shakes and some gym time. Fingers crossed on every play at the plate.

The Feels band
The Feels band

All we need is .280/15-20/85 d'arnaud! you can do it. 

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

Nack in the day, the Mets had Rube Walker as pitching coach and Joe Pignatano as the bullpen coach. They were a valuable mentors to Jerry Grote, Duffy Dyer, John Stearns, Ron Hodges and instrumental in making "batteries" out of some of the best pitchers with really good, young defensive catchers.


A good catcher is your field general, calling the game, positioning defense, knowing the opposition, feeling out the pitchers. Maybe coaching is a better way to create cohesiveness and bring the game along than just peer/ veteran mentoring.

Starz31
Starz31

Recker is suitable as a back-up, that's fine. I just hope this guy stays healthy, because he will have a breakout year if he can. Could be a huge part of our lineup by the end of the year. 

Ryan Flanagan
Ryan Flanagan

@ElVPresidente Size shouldn't be a factor considering the MLB took out collisions at the plate and a strike zone is knees - chest (generally, of course) which should be adjusted to a players size whether they are 6'10 or 5'3. I'm more worried if he can hit off speed pitches than his size. He hit 21 HRs in 2011 and 16 HRs in 2012 (with only 279 ABs) He's got power.

Ryan Flanagan
Ryan Flanagan

@Travis Walls @Ryan Flanagan I have no idea, maybe Matt can expand on it. The way I perceive is he's saying they weren't going to sign a backup catcher with the reality that d'Arnaud would start and Recker will back him up. Even if this is the case, the Mets are that sold on Recker?


I have no idea what it means haha.

ElVPresidente
ElVPresidente

@rstpigeon I see that, though from pics Bench has the hands and forearms of an iron worker. Travis looks like one of the guys from IT down the hall.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

@ElVPresidente@rstpigeonThere isn't a big difference. when I was a kid, I actually stood next to Johnny Bench outside Shea, after a double-header the Mets lost. To a 10 year-old, he was massive. But photos show little difference. check online.