MINNEAPOLIS -- Travis d'Arnaud is here to stay.
After seeing the young catcher play in three games with John Buck on paternity leave, manager Terry Collins has seen some promising signs from d'Arnaud. But the skipper needed to consider whether remaining with the Mets or returning to Triple-A Las Vegas would be a better situation.
And apparently, staying in the big leagues is the answer.
"The only way this guy is going to improve is to be here and work with John Buck," Collins said after the Mets' 6-1 win over the Twins on Monday, noting that the catchers will split playing time going forward.
With Buck returning Wednesday, the Mets opened up a roster spot by optioning catcher Anthony Recker to Triple-A Las Vegas, although he's expected to return to the bigs when the rosters expand in September.
"There's certainly some very, very good signs," Collins said of d'Arnaud. "You watch him at the plate, the discipline that he's had -- during Spring Training, he didn't have that discipline, he's got it now. It's pretty impressive to see. ... He can throw, he's got a great release, a lot of positives. But you're only going to be able to tell if he's going to be an everyday guy by getting him out there."
Through his three games in the big leagues, d'Arnaud remains hitless, but he has walked five times in 12 plate appearances.
Collins praised d'Arnaud's effort Sunday catching righty Matt Harvey, something that's not an easy task, according to the skipper.
While it's only been three days, there were questions about whether d'Arnaud could be the Mets' everyday backstop come 2014. Before Monday's game, Collins did note that it's "awfully hard to judge in two days."
"He doesn't have a lot of at-bats for the season, but he was the guy that made the most sense to bring up here," Collins said. "... If he's going to get another 200 at-bats here in the final six weeks, yeah, it might benefit him to stay and play every day.
"You've got to look down the road and say, 'Is this going to be the everyday guy in 2014?' I don't have those answers right now."
While his Major League career is still in it's infancy, d'Arnaud is thankful for the opportunity and soaking in every moment he can.
"What an amazing feeling," d'Arnaud said. "I get to stay with the club and this group of guys -- just a great group of guys -- who truly love baseball. I'm really excited to see John and get some work with John again. I'm really excited."
Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.