d'Arnaud headed to St. Lucie to resume play

d'Arnaud headed to St. Lucie to resume play

NEW YORK -- Mets catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud will begin playing in Minor League games this week, general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday.

d'Arnaud, who suffered a fractured first metatarsal when he was hit on his left foot on April 17, will head to Port St. Lucie, Fla., Monday night, and Alderson said he'll likely play in a Gulf Coast League game on Wednesday.

He'll spend a "minimal" amount of time there, and will then move on to another level in the Minor Leagues. d'Arnaud, 24, was hitting .250 with one home run and eight RBIs in 36 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas when he sustained the injury. He also had a .429 on-base percentage.

Once d'Arnaud -- the top prospect in the organization as ranked by MLB.com -- gets back in games, the Mets want to see him play every day and see how he progresses. If he plays well, there's a chance d'Arnaud could see some time in the Majors later in the season.

"We need to see him play for a while," Alderson said. "We only have 2 1/2 months left in the season, so hopefully he stays healthy the rest of the season and we get to see him a little bit here in September."

Alderson said only time will tell if this season was a setback for d'Arnaud in his development.

Once d'Arnaud is finished playing for St. Lucie, Alderson said he may go to Las Vegas or he may go to Double-A Binghamton.

But having the chance to play in the big leagues before the end of the year is something Alderson said would help him.

"It would be a benefit," Alderson said. "If he's healthy, he'll get that benefit."

Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.