NEW YORK -- The first indications of right elbow discomfort, Travis d'Arnaud said, did not surface until Monday, when he went to the field to do some extra throwing before the Mets' game in Miami. Less than 48 hours later, d'Arnaud was in a doctor's office in Manhattan alongside his wife, absorbing the news that he had suffered a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament.
"I was just shocked when I heard the news," d'Arnaud said Thursday in a telephone interview, making his first public comments since the diagnosis. "I was surprised, but what can you do? I just couldn't believe it, but what can you do?"
In the coming days, d'Arnaud will decide whether to undergo Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery, which would end his season. He said Thursday that he was still talking over the decision with his agent and his family, though d'Arnaud wasn't sure what the alternative rest-and-rehabilitation program would entail. Most around the team would be surprised if d'Arnaud does not undergo surgery, which carries a recovery period of at least seven months.
"It would suck. It would suck," said d'Arnaud, who was not aware what percentage of his UCL is torn. "These guys are so much fun to be around and there's such a winning atmosphere and a championship atmosphere around the clubhouse. It would suck. But who knows what's going to happen?"
Batting .200 with one home run and a .650 OPS in four games this season, d'Arnaud was part of a timeshare at catcher with Kevin Plawecki, his close friend. The two texted after d'Arnaud learned the news about his elbow, and d'Arnaud, who was watching Wednesday's Mets game at home, said he could hardly believe it when Plawecki took a 98-mph fastball off his left hand. X-rays were negative, which offered d'Arnaud at least some measure of relief: In his absence, he knows, Plawecki will be the Mets' everyday catcher.
"He's ready," d'Arnaud said. "Not only is he a great person, but he puts his work in. He puts a lot of work into studying the other hitters and doing a lot of studying even of other pitchers, too. So I know he's ready at the plate, as well. I believe he's ready. All these pitchers love throwing to him, so that's the biggest thing as a catcher."
Overall in six seasons with the Mets, d'Arnaud is a .245 hitter with 47 home runs, plus another three big flies in 14 postseason games. He experienced trouble throwing out runners early this season, allowing seven stolen bases in eight attempts.