Kelly Stinnett arrived in Mets camp Tuesday, a day after requesting his release from the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
Stinnett, 35, projects as insurance for backup catcher Ramon Castro over the next week or so. If Castro is healthy, he is basically assured of making the Major League roster, and Stinnett will report to Triple-A Norfolk.
However, if Stinnett is not promoted to the Mets by mid-May, he has the option of requesting his release. His 2004 campaign was cut short by Tommy John surgery, from which he has recovered nicely – Stinnett as batting .333 (8-24) with four runs scored, one double, two triples, one home run and five RBI in 17 games this spring with the D-Backs.
Still, the Diamondbacks went with youth this spring, with manager Bob Melvin keeping Koyie Hill and Chris Snyder as a backup tandem.
Originally a product of the Cleveland Indians farm system, Stinnett played the 1994 and 1995 seasons with New York as the backup to Todd Hundley before moving on to the Milwaukee Brewers.
The .238 lifetime hitter has also played with Arizona, the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Kansas City Royals in his 11-year career.