Throughout a season a baseball team comprises many, many players, and as fans, it can be difficult to keep track of all of the names that come and go from the roster. Most prominent players, such as David Wright, are always on the 25-man roster, so they are fresh in the minds of those who watch the team on a daily basis.
As for others, not so much. Some players are on the roster for such a short time they can get lost in the shuffle. Whether it's a rookie making his first appearance in the majors or a 15-year veteran looking for a shot to play, spending a short time on a team does not always create a lasting association in the minds of fans. These are forgotten players. They often show up in the #MetsYouveForgotten hashtag that goes around Twitter during the offseason.
The Mets' forgotten player in 2014 was Taylor Teagarden.
Teagarden spent parts of six seasons in the majors before his stint with the Mets: Four with the Texas Rangers and two with the Baltimore Orioles. For both of those teams, he would get called up occasionally to fill in for an injured or ineffective catcher. He never performed well enough to stick around for longer than 60 games, and his career batting line before 2014 was a meager .206/.266/.390.
On January 6, 2014, the Mets signed Taylor Teagarden to a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training. He was signed to provide some depth behind the plate, and the 30-year-old University of Texas at Austin product broke camp with Triple-A Las Vegas, becoming the Mets' first option as emergency catcher.
The Mets began the 2014 season with two catchers on the 25-man roster, Travis d'Arnaud and Anthony Recker. After struggling for the first two months of the season, the Mets demoted d'Arnaud on June 7. Enter Teagarden, who was called up the next day, joining Recker to form one of the more uninspiring backstop tandems in the majors. On June 10, Teagarden made his Mets debut against the Milwaukee Brewers. No better way to kick it off than this:
This half-swing, opposite-field grand slam surprised everyone, providing a glimmer of hope that he was going to perform well enough to fill in admirably until d'Arnaud was ready. Unfortunately—and unsurprisingly—this was by far his finest moment in a Mets uniform.
Teagarden played in eight games—seven starts—after his auspicious debut and collected only three more hits. His only other notable performance came behind the dish, catching all nine innings of Zack Wheeler's one-hit shutout on June 19 in Miami. His final batting line with the Mets was .143/.200/.250.
On June 24, Teagarden was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring, creating room for d'Arnaud to return to the big club. That would be the end of Tegarden's run with the Mets. In July, he appeared in both the Gulf Cost League and Florida State League as part of rehab from his injury. On July 21, he went back to Triple-A Las Vegas and remained there for the rest of the season.
Taylor Teagarden is currently a free agent. Catchers get injured all the time, so some team will probably give him a minor league deal before the offseason is up. His Mets career was short-lived and not very fruitful, and even just a few months after his stint in Queens his name has already slipped from memory. For better or worse (mostly better), Taylor Teagarden is a forgotten Met.