Thole Stuff

Kevin Burkhardt tweetsJosh Thole spent 3 weeks working with Mets catching instructor on his D this offseason.”  Also in a response to a question from Beningo and Roberts about who calls a better game, Thole or Santos, Burkhardt wrote, “Thole. Not only calling a game, but setting a solid target. That’s why he has a shot to stick.” 

Adam Rubin in the NY Daily News wrote about Thole today, noting that the “organizational preference is for the rookie to get more seasoning at Triple-A while being mentored by ex-Phillie Chris Coste.”  That’s all well and good, but it’s possible that Thole’s presence on the MLB roster would actually make the Mets a better team than a Santos/Blanco duo.  Rubin also elaborates on the work that Thole and Natal did this winter, using a virtual machine. 

At, Keith Law wrote about Thole,

“His bat is ready for him to play everyday in the majors right now, especially considering the Mets’ other options, but he needs a half- to a full year in the minors to improve his defense, as he doesn’t have much experience behind the plate.”

One of the best stories this spring will be whether Thole has improved enough defensively to break camp with the team.  It’s a question I just can’t answer now.  Truthfully, no one can. 

There are 5 comments

  1. JoeyZ43

    Seeing Thole defensively in Binghamton leaves me no confidence in him handling a “needy” staff with Pelfrey, Perez, and Maine.

    He was noticeably bad on defense, with slow reactions. I get it that Santos allegedly calls a crap game, but that doesn’t mean he’s the answer either.

    I’d prefer to go with Blanco and no offense over Thole or Santos right now. The staff is needy, and can’t have them worrying about their backstop. I don’t want to say this out loud, but much of the time last year, I saw Thole as being comparable to Mike Jacobs behind the plate. Not good.

    This to me puts me solidly in the Rod Barajas one year deal camp. I simply can’t see the Mets getting the most out of their staff with either Josh Thole or Omir Santos catching full time.

    1. Toby Hyde

      Interesting point about the Mets “needy” staff. On the other hand, multiple studies have found no statistical significance to catcher’s effect on staff ERA. I tend towards the idea that MLB pitchers are big boys who need to take responsibility for their own performance. Rod Barajas on a one-year deal or a minor league deal, as some suggested today would be a very nice piece of insurance.

  2. Chip Armonaitis

    I don’t get this criticism of Santos’ pitch calling.

    If you don’t love his pitch calling, call the game from the bench. They are already calling pitchouts and throwovers….calling Dan Warthen…

    And who is working with him on scouting reports and game planning with the staff… calling Dan Warthen….

    And who is determing that the bad pitches were bad pitch calls? I mean is it the fact that they missed the target a bit out of a factor here?

    Seems to me like blaming the catcher for a bad game call is either than blaming higher paid pitchers for not pitching well.

    I mean, is anyone really trying to tell me that John Maine’s injuries and Ollie’s problems are Santos’ fault?

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