Rafael, We Hardly Knew Ye

Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone? Like for instance Rafael Arroyo. Even though I was vaguely aware of the Mets’ bullpen catcher last year, I’d never created a record for him here, and so his year as only the fourth man in team history to wear No. 58 went sadly unacknowledged. That was until the other day when I updated the spring roster for the first time and two sharp-eyed readers let me on what I’d missed. First, Jason pointed out that I’d forgotten to add him. Separately, Conor directed me to a missive from Met beat writer Adam Rubin, suggesting that Arroyo in fact had been fired, even though his number still appears on the Mets’ official roster.

I found out that latter piece by the way within the first moments I’d established a presence on Twitter, as I’m finally coming around to realize it might be worth the additional competition for my attention to be engaged in the stream of rapid-fire discussion and news that’s been pretty much going on without me for years now. You can find me observing the talk and passing along updates on the Mets (and maybe other stuff too) at Springer66. Feel free to follow and tell your friends.

Arroyo was a young veteran of the Mets’ system. Drafted in the 26th round of the 2004 draft out of Cal State-L.A., Arroyo spent six years up and down the Mets system, from Kingsport to Hagerstown to St. Lucie to Binghamton to Buffalo, but never exceeding the the .258/.425/.460 line he put up over 42 games at Rookie League Kingsport in ’04. He was released but subsequently named as a second bullpen catcher during spring training last year. Listed at 5-foot-8 and 175-pounds, Arroyo was a star at Monroe High in North Hills, Calif., and came up through a program that found scholarships for inner-city L.A. kids. According to Rubin, the Mets sent Arroyo to shadow Oliver Perez while the unloved lefty tried working out his problems in the Mexican League this winter only to inform him that he’d lost his job upon his return (if only it was the other way around). It’s not clear whether these moves Rubin reported are complete and/or official yet, and we’ll try and remember to update it when we know.

Two web sites are counting down days to pitchers & catchers with a Met-numerical countdown: Mets Today, which also recently had a note on the MBTN book that was nice to see; as well as Amazin Avenue. These remind me it’s the time of year we try and tidy up the place around here as we head toward our 12th birthday and are sparking some personal interest  in the Mets again after coming to realize just how much the Jerry Manuel Era managed to take out of me. That and the Jets loss.

More to come!

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