The Brutality Of Bullpen Catching

Adam Rubin of ESPN shares a quick tale of New York Mets bullpen catcher Rafael Arroyo, who is out of a job after not taking a vacation this offseason.

Heard this: Mets bullpen catcher Rafael Arroyo spent the entire winter monitoring and catching Oliver Perez on the side in Culiacan. With Culiacan eliminated from playoffs, Arroyo returns to States and is told he’s unemployed. New staff wants to change bullpen catchers.

New York local Jon Debus was brought in as the new bullpen coach in early December to support the returning pitching coach Dan Warthen.  You may be  surprised to know this, but I don’t have a lot of knowledge on the inner workings of the Mets bullpen, but I’d imagine that it would be Debus who would be making the decisions on bullpen personnel.

As easy as it might be to point a finger at the new bullpen coach for taking advantage of Arroyo’s work before letting him go, we might want to stop to think about the potential timing of Debus taking charge.  No one wants to lose their job just before Christmas, and if he had called Arroyo back then to give him his walking papers, there probably would’ve been an even larger uproar.

It definitely sucks for Arroyo, but such is the life you sign up for when you agree to be a bullpen catcher.  We’ll all hope that he finds work quickly.  Surely, his willingness to spend the winter in Mexico speaks to his dedication if nothing else.

And no, the irony of that statement is not lost on me as the snow that was frozen to my shoe has melted, and I sit here with wet socks.

The real takeaway from all of this: Never, ever go near Oliver Perez.  He’s like King Midas in reverse.