Farrell wants to see d'Arnaud improve defense

Farrell wants to see d'Arnaud improve defense

Farrell wants to see d'Arnaud improve defense
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Henderson Alvarez and Travis d'Arnaud could one day be dynamic batterymates for the Blue Jays. On Friday, they had to settle for Grapefruit League batterymates against the Astros at Osceola County Stadium.

If d'Arnaud -- Toronto's No. 1 prospect, according to MLB.com -- is going to enjoy as seamless a transition to the big leagues as Alvarez did last year, he'll have to make some strides defensively, manager John Farrell said.

"There's still some work to do on the receiving end," Farrell said. "He's a good offensive player right now. His consistency of blocking balls, of receiving -- those are areas that can look outstanding at times, and yet there are occasional lapses. We're doing all we can to tighten that up. That doesn't mean that he's a below-average catcher, by any means. But as he matures and gets accustomed to handling pitchers over the long haul, then he can anticipate a little more just by familiarity."

As far as the bat is concerned, d'Arnaud showed it off Friday, smacking his first home run of the spring -- a two-run shot off Aneury Rodriguez in the sixth.