Notes and Thoughts: On d’Arnaud’s Foot Injury, Wheeler, Laffey, and Byrd in CF

By Danny Abriano

Travis d’Arnaud left last night’s game in the sixth inning, in walking boot:

While catching Adam Kolarek last night with two outs in the top of the sixth, Travis d’Arnaud took a foul ball off his foot.  After getting nicked, d’Arnaud remained face down in the dirt for a bit.  That prompted the trainer and manager Wally Backman to trot out to check on him.  d’Arnaud then propped himself up on one knee for about 30 seconds before getting up and walking it off.  He was clearly in some pain, but remained in to complete the inning.  Afterwards, he was pinch hit for by Landon Powell.

March 8, 2013; Lakeland, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d

Per Adam Rubin, d’Arnaud has a bruise on his left foot.  It’s being called a non-displaced fracture of the first metatarsal (bone just behind the big toe).  He’s in a walking boot.

After studying up a bit, it appears that the injury d’Arnaud has requires about a month to recover from.  He’s headed to New York to be examined.

Collins and Alderson on Zack Wheeler:

During an appearance yesterday with Mike Francesa on WFAN, Terry Collins intimated that the Mets would soon have to consider bringing Zack Wheeler up to the big leagues.  Here’s what Sandy Alderson had to say later in the day regarding Wheeler and when he’ll be promoted:

"It was always a case that it would be Zack’s sufficiency and the major-league team’s need.  If those two things merge, the need and the performance converge, then it is a possibility.  That could happen sooner or it could happen later."

Some people are using the above quote from Alderson to claim that he somehow shot Collins’ comments down.  I don’t believe that to be the case.  Alderson has always maintained that when Wheeler was deemed ready, he’d be called up.  Clearly, Aaron Laffey and/or Jeremy Hefner pitching poorly won’t be the reason Wheeler is called upon.  However, as Alderson stated, two factors could converge: a need in the rotation and Wheeler being ready to fill that need.

Yesterday, Andy Martino of the Daily News suggested that people should relax for “a few months” regarding the clamoring for Wheeler.  I think that’s absurd.  Sandy Alderson has stated since February that while Super Two status is a factor, it’s not the determining factor – and unless Wheeler pitches poorly in AAA, preventing Super Two status would likely be the only reason Zack Wheeler stays in the minors beyond May.

Aaron Laffey bumped for Jeremy Hefner:

To the chagrin of Mets fans, Aaron Laffey was initially scheduled to pitch Saturday at Citi Field.    Because of yesterday’s postponement, the Mets have again changed the rotation schedule around.  Because the Mets didn’t play last night (and are only playing one game today), they elected to skip Laffey and replace him with Jeremy Hefner.

If Shaun Marcum is ready to be activated in roughly a week, there’s a chance we may have seen the last of Aaron Laffey toeing the rubber for the Mets.  Nothing personal against Laffey, but that would be for the best.

Marlon Byrd in Center Field?

If last night’s game had been played, Marlon Byrd would’ve been the center fielder (with Jordany Valdespin in left field).  Terry Collins toyed with Byrd in center during spring training, and it seemed like a horrendous idea then.  Simply put, barring multiple in-game injuries forcing his hand, there is absolutely no reason why Terry Collins should ever place Marlon Byrd in center.

And what do you know? Byrd is in today’s starting lineup in, you guessed it, center field!

Ahead of Byrd on the depth chart in center field are Collin Cowgill, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin, and Mike Baxter.  Cowgill and Nieuwenhuis are above average out there, and both Baxter and Valdespin are better options than Byrd.  With the way he’s played, Byrd deserves to be in the lineup.  His place in the outfield, however, is in one of the corners.  He doesn’t have the range to play center, making Collins’ decision to put him there ridiculous.

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