NEW YORK -- Estimating that his previous struggles were "95-percent mental," catcher Travis d'Arnaud returned to the big leagues Tuesday with something significant to prove. He promptly began that process hours later, smashing a three-run homer in a 10-1 Mets win over the A's.
"Like I said when I left, I knew I had work to do," said d'Arnaud, whom the Mets demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this month after a prolonged early-season slump. "It was unacceptable, so I had a long look in the mirror with myself, had a good conversation with myself and found myself."
The Mets officially recalled d'Arnaud from Las Vegas prior to Tuesday's game against the A's, placing fellow catcher Taylor Teagarden on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. That move ensured that Anthony Recker would remain on the roster as d'Arnaud's backup.
But if the Mets have their way, all talk of backups and fill-ins will soon cease. White-hot for his entire two-week stay at Vegas, d'Arnaud hit .436 with six home runs in 15 games for the 51s. The main adjustment, he said, was that he stopped thinking about his mechanics and simply tried to clear his mind during every at-bat.
Whether he can continue to do so at the big league level remains to be seen. The Pacific Coast League is widely recognized as one of the best hitting environments in all of professional baseball, and d'Arnaud has thrived there multiple times in the past. He has yet to succeed at all in the big leagues, however, batting .189 with a .546 OPS over 70 career games entering Tuesday -- but his three-run homer represented a significant step in the right direction.
"I always thought he was a confident kid," manager Terry Collins said. "When you talk to him about everything else, he comes off like he truly believes he's going to be a great player, and everybody still believes that.
"I have no idea what goes on between the ears of players. They're told all the right things, in my opinion. They've got to go apply it."
With focus solely on the field, C. Young hits two blasts
NEW YORK -- If Chris Young was in any imminent danger of losing his roster spot, he took a sizable step beyond that during Tuesday's 10-1 Mets win over the A's.
Young's two home runs came mere hours after he learned of an ESPN report stating that he could be released as soon as Thursday, with the Mets eating the remainder of his $7.25 million contract. If general manager Sandy Alderson's subsequent dismissal of the report did not ease Young's mind, his pair of homers certainly did.
"As a player, all you do is just show up and get ready for that day," Young said. "I really can't focus on anything from the outside. That would be counterproductive for me."
Young, who signed a one-year deal as a free agent this winter, is batting .209 with six home runs and a .644 OPS in 59 games. His numbers were actually worse against left-handed pitchers than righties, though two consecutive games against A's left-handers presented a unique opportunity for a pair of starts -- perhaps with his job on the line. Fellow outfielder Juan Lagares is due back from the disabled list later this week, creating an outfield crunch that, at the very least, figures to cut into Young's playing time.
"I feel pretty good right now," Young said. "I'm confident that everything will translate into the game. But in the grand scheme of things, it didn't take one day for my numbers to get to where we are right now. It's not like I'm going to have one game and I'm going to be hitting .300. All I can do is continue to play."
Syndergaard, Plawecki named to Futures Game
NEW YORK -- Mets prospect Kevin Plawecki's banner day included a promotion to Triple-A and an invite to the Futures Game.
The Mets promoted Plawecki to Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday night, hours after Major League Baseball named him and pitcher Noah Syndergaard to the United States roster for the 2014 Sirius XM Futures Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Plawecki, the Mets' sixth-ranked prospect on MLB.com's 2014 Prospect Watch, was batting .326 with an .864 OPS in 58 games for Double-A Binghamton. A supplemental-round pick out of Purdue in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, he will be participating in his first Futures Game.
Syndergaard will be appearing in his second. The Mets' top-ranked prospect, Syndergaard has scuffled a bit at Triple-A Las Vegas since returning from an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, giving up nine runs over his last 10 2/3 innings to increase his ERA to 4.98. Still, Syndergaard struck out seven and walked none in his last outing, compiling more strikeouts than innings on the season.
Last year, the Mets had three representatives in the Futures Game at Citi Field. Syndergaard and Rafael Montero started the game for the U.S. and World teams, respectively, while outfielder Brandon Nimmo came off the bench for the U.S.
All-Star hopeful Wright extends RBI streak
NEW YORK -- Nine days ago, the All-Star Game was the furthest thing from David Wright's mind. The Mets' third baseman was mired in a 7-for-60 slump that saw his average dip all the way to .262 from .302, and a struggling New York team was departing Queens for a week-long road trip to play the defending National League champs and a difficult division rival.
What a difference a week can make. In Tuesday's 10-1 win over the Athletics -- the Mets' fifth in their last six games -- Wright went 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. He has driven in a run in seven straight games to tie a career high.
Wright, though, is going to need more than just continued success at the plate if he's going to go to Minneapolis for what would be his eighth All-Star Game and third in a row. His .278 average and .731 OPS won't be enough for his fellow players or the All-Star coaching staff to select him, so his best bet is through the fan vote.
In the All-Star ballot update released Monday, Wright was in second among third basemen with 1,260,895 votes, trailing Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers, who had 1,279,902 -- a margin of just 19,007 tallies. Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval was within striking distance with 1,194,607.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
• Right-hander Dillon Gee threw two scoreless innings Tuesday for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets in his first Minor League rehab appearance since straining his right lat muscle in May. Gee allowed one hit, did not issue a walk and struck out two. He is tentatively scheduled to come off the disabled list in early July.
• First-base coach Tom Goodwin left the team Tuesday to deal with a personal family matter. Bench coach Bob Geren coached first in the Mets' series opener against the A's, with Mets senior advisor Guy Conti serving as bench coach.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.