Braves: Travis d’Arnaud sees an unexpected defensive improvement

Braves injuries

Travis d’Arnaud really hasn’t been known for hosing runners at second. To this point in his career, you could even say he’s been bad at throwing runners out — especially since coming to Atlanta. In 2020 and 2021, d’Arnaud only caught eight runners stealing, throwing out an abysmal 14% of all base thieves (league average is around 30% most years). But something changed this past offseason.

The numbers

Through only a quarter of the games, the Braves catcher has almost matched his numbers from the past two years combined. His seven runners caught stealing is tied for the MLB lead, and d’Arnaud’s 35% caught stealing rate is at its highest since his age 26 season. After what we’ve seen in recent years from the backstop, this is a surprising, yet welcome development.

Some things in baseball can’t really be explained, and this is one of them. The most likely scenario is that d’Arnaud put in hours of practice throwing out runners in the offseason; luck isn’t really possible when throwing people out. This improvement means a lot to Atlanta. He has given them a lot of extra outs already this season, and combined with his resurgence at the plate, d’Arnaud has been one of the most valuable players on the team. 

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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