The New York Mets plan to keep the rookie catcher and give him significant playing time even after John Buck returns from paternity leave, major league sources tell FOX Sports.
D’Arnaud, 24, made his major league debut on Saturday, the same day the Mets placed Buck, their starting catcher, on the three-day paternity list. The team will need to decide between keeping d’Arnaud or Anthony Recker, its current backup, once Buck returns.
The choice, however, already has been made, sources said. And the Mets will not keep a young player such as d’Arnaud in the majors simply to use him off the bench.
D’Arnaud, a principal part of the Mets’ return from the Toronto Blue Jays for right-hander R.A. Dickey last offseason, will be the primary catcher, sources said, possibly playing four to five days a week.
Buck, in the final year of his contact, is batting .219 with a .662 OPS and 15 home runs in 361 at-bats. Nine of his homers came in April.
D’Arnaud’s season, meanwhile, was interrupted by injury. He suffered a fractured metatarsal while playing for the Mets’ Triple A-affiliate in Las Vegas on April 17 and did not return to that club until Aug. 9.
He batted .286 with a .934 OPS, three homers and 13 doubles in 131 plate appearances at three minor-league levels, and has gone 0 for 4 in his first two major league games.