Five Reasons Mets Catcher Josh Thole Needs to Go
Five Reasons Josh Thole Needs to Go
At the risk of sounding like someone who can’t let go of her youth, I have to say that maybe I am extra tough on the catchers of the New York Mets because that is the position I played during my softball career.
And I will also say this: My view will definitely be biased. While some Mets fans long for the days of Gary Carter, I long for the days of Mike Piazza. He will always be my number one Met. I can look over his less than stellar defensive number because of what he did with his bat. And his post-September 11th home run will always be my best baseball memory. So any catcher who followed him automatically has something to prove to me.
When Piazza left, naturally I was devastated. He left a hole in my heart as well as huge hole in the Mets lineup. Following him the Mets had a slew of men behind the plate including Paul Lo Duca, Ramon Castro, Brian Schneider, Omir Santos, Rod Barajas, and now Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas, and Kelly Shoppach.
It seems as if the Mets don’t see a need to fill this void. This is a position of a true leader. This should be the person who is calling, and setting the pace, of the game. He should be the one who pitchers turn to and lean on for encouragement and support. The catcher is the person who should set the tone for each game.
I’m sure he’s a nice person, and I’m sure he tries his best day in and day out, but current starting catcher, Josh Thole, is not that man, and here’s why.
Dropping .034 points from last season, and .87 points from his first season with the Mets (okay, granted he played 17 games), Thole’s .234 batting average barely cuts it for a 7th or 8th hitter.
Thole had only 21 RBIs this year. Even with the offensive struggles the Mets had this season, there were 10 players who had more than Thole. Five of those players had more than double Thole’s RBIs, and four of the players who produced more RBIs played in less games than Josh.
There’s not being a power guy, and not being a guy that has anything that remotely resembles power. Thole’s ONE home run this season is unacceptable.
Caught Stealing Percentage
Thole’s caught stealing percentage was 23% this year. So about three out of four runners who attempt to steal a base make it safely. That’s a lot of runners getting into scoring position.
Thole had 18 pass balls this season, second most in this league, and there could have very well been a couple of more. The number one thing about Thole that aggravates me is lack of body usage to block the ball when needed. Turning your wrist awkwardly when trying to stop a pitch that isn’t at your target is not going to cut it. Bottom line: Mets need a solid, reliable catcher.