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Arroyo: Ollie made strides in winter ball

Rafael Arroyo could have spent his offseason at the beach near his Los Angeles home. Instead, the 28-year-old Arroyo devoted his winter to helping a friend in Culiacan, Mexico.

At Oliver Perez's request, Arroyo joined the southpaw for the offseason, catching bullpen sessions and taking notes during Mexican winter league games, while offering feedback to Perez and feeding information back to Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen.

And Arroyo believes the preferred piƱata of New York Mets fans should not be written off.

"I saw a lot of positive things," Arroyo said by telephone. "His strength was back up. His velocity was back up. Just seeing him pitch down there, you saw the confidence build back up, which was a good thing. That to me was the most important thing. And that was the goal -- to go down there and get some work done, get some innings in -- because last year he didn't pitch much for many reasons. We went down there and we had success in that sense."

Read the full report here, which includes an analysis of where Perez stands.