D'Arnaud Waits In The Shadows





TORONTO — Catcher Travis d'Arnaud has almost been the forgotten man among the three players the Blue Jays got last December when they sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies. But don't expect him to remain in the shadows for long.

It was natural for other players to hog the attention. Righthander Kyle Drabek was the pitcher of the year in the Double-A Eastern League and made three September starts in Toronto. First baseman Brett Wallace was at Triple-A Las Vegas and was expected by many to step into the major league lineup by midseason, but the Jays flipped him to the Astros in July for center fielder Anthony Gose—whom they had earlier tried to pry from the Phillies. The Astros acquired him in the deal for Roy Oswalt.

Meanwhile, d'Arnaud, 21, was at high Class A Dunedin and batted .259/.315/.411 with six homers in 263 at-bats before getting shut down at the end of July with back problems. In spite of the abbreviated season, the Jays were happy with what they saw.

"Travis was everything we thought and more," assistant general manager Tony LaCava said. "Rare package that catches and throws easy with an above-average bat. I give him a ton of credit for having the year he did considering what he was going through. He wanted to play every game and did not want to come out of a game."

The Blue Jays hoped to take him with the 38th pick in the 2007 draft, but the Phillies took him at No. 37. He said the transition to his new organization was made easier because he and Drabek are friends and were able to go through it together.

JAYS CHATTER

• The Jays lost third baseman Edwin Encarnacion to the Athletics and righthander Taylor Buchholz to the Red Sox on waiver claims.

• Lefthander Brian Tallet and outfielder Dewayne Wise both elected free agency when Toronto outrighted them off the 40-man roster.