Remember when Sandy Alderson “ripped off” the Blue Jays, getting the next Mike Piazza and a top pitching prospect for 87-year-old R.A. Dickey? Well, Alderson’s already tainted legacy took another hit early Sunday morning when he demoted Travis d’Arnaud to Las Vegas.
d’Arnaud is hitting just .180 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He’s been even worse since returning from the DL after suffering a concussion — three-for-26.
“I’ve just got work to do. I’ve got to find my swing,” d’Arnaud said in comments Adam Rubin of ESPN New York described as “terse.”
David Wright did his captainly duties and spoke to d’Arnaud after he got the word.
“He’s upset,” Wright said. “And I think he’s upset at himself. But I think that it’s a bump in the road. That’s what I told him: You can’t think of this as a failed opportunity or that now people think less of you in the organization. It’s a bump in the road. And a lot of really, really good players go through this when they get first called up.
“He’s hit at every level, but now he has that responsibility of sometimes babysitting a pitching staff and making sure he prepares for a game defensively. And that kind of takes away from some of the offense.”
It should be noted that d’Arnaud is already 25 years old. He really is not a kid anymore, so he really has got to figure this out sooner rather than later.
The consensus on d’Arnaud at the time of the trade was not unanimous; many questioned why such a top prospect had been dealt twice. It was always for Cy Young winners (his first trade was by the Phillies for Roy Halladay), but still, it is rare to trade away a young catching prospect if he is supposed to be so good.
It is certainly too early to give up on d’Arnaud, but once again the suspect talent evaluation skills of Sandy Alderson has reared its ugly head.
Taylor Teagarden will take d’Arnaud’s place on the roster. Teagarden has been hitting well in Vegas — .279, eight homers, 19 RBIs in 104 at bats.