May 3, 2016

Late 2000's Mets Backup Catcher: Robinson Cancel (2008-2009)

Robinson Castro Cancel was born on May 4, 1976 in Lajas, Puerto Rico. The six foot catcher was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1994.

He played in the minors for six years before he got to the AAA level. In 1999 he also got his first call up to the big leagues playing in 15 games for the Brewers striking out a dozen times in just 44 at bats. He batted only .182 with eight hits, two doubles & five RBIS as the fourth catcher on the team. 

He was sent back down to the minor leagues and did not resurface in the majors until almost a decade later with the 2008 New York Mets. In an 18 year minor league career he hit .266 with 1098 hits, 88 HRs & 580 RBIs in 1240 games. He threw out 37% of would be base stealers & posted a .984 fielding %.

He came to the Mets organization in January 2007 and batted .264 at AAA New Orleans as a backup catcher to Mike Difelice.

In 2008 he had a decent spring training getting some notice, but still began the year at A ball St. Lucie. He was pushed back to AAA New Orleans where he hit .346 in 15 games. That June he was called up, when the Mets needed some catching help and made a pinch hit appearance on June 6th in San Diego.

A week later on June 15th he pinch hit for Pedro Martinez, in the second game of a double header at Texas in an interleague game. He batted in the 6th inning with the bases loaded & Cancel delivered a base hit scoring two runs which turned out to be the game winning runs. It was a huge thrill for the 32 year old journey man minor leaguer, who hadn’t had an MLB hit since 1999.

He went 2-6 in his next pinch hitting roles, before getting a start at Shea Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 26th.

On August 11th he hit his first & only career HR coming against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea Stadium off Zack Duke. In 27 games Cancel hit .245 with the one HR two doubles & five RBIs in 53 at bats.

In 2009 he spent most of the season at AAA Buffalo but got into one final MLB game as a pinch hitter going 0-1 on July 30th in a game against the Rockies. He was designated for assignment that October.

In 2010 he played for the Long Island Ducks batting .301 with 14 HRs & 81 RBIs. Cancel played in the Mexican League in 2012 with Sultanes de Monterrey. 

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