PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Ever since Buster Posey of the Giants suffered multiple major injuries two years ago in a play at the plate, home-plate collisions have become a talking point throughout the league. Cardinals manager and former catcher Mike Matheny was the latest to speak out against collisions this week, saying he hopes Major League Baseball outlaws them completely.
Even if that happens, it will not have much of an immediate impact upon Travis d'Arnaud. The Mets have already decided to forbid their young catcher from standing his ground at home plate, much as the Giants did after Posey returned from injury.
"I said, 'Trav, I know you're a tough guy and I know it's baseball,'" manager Terry Collins said. "'But if you want to play for the next 15 years, the last thing we need is to have you reinjure your knee.'"
d'Arnaud tore a ligament in his left knee last summer not from blocking the plate, but from sliding into second base. Still, his new organization is wary of any activity that could result in re-injury.
"We look down the road and this kid's going to be a starter here for a long time," Collins said. "We certainly don't want anything to keep that from happening."
Avoiding contact may not be easy for d'Arnaud, who relishes home-plate collisions and considers them among the most exciting plays in baseball. But the top prospect also understands the danger, and is on board with his team's decision to limit them.
"Whatever the organization wants me to do, I'll do it," d'Arnaud said. "I understand. I haven't really given it much thought, but I do hear people talking about it."