Josh Thole An Offensive Non-Factor Thus Far For Toronto Blue Jays

By Thom Tsang
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

So much for Josh Thole putting J.P. Arencibia on notice, eh?

At this rate, he’ll have his work cut out for him just to stay in his role as R.A. Dickey‘s personal catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Sure, that’s going to require a fair bit of extrapolating from what is a tiny 21 PA sample size, but given what the team has seen so far of him at the plate, I think it’s fair to say that Thole’s role on this team likely to be a singular one for the foreseeable future.

Remember the .322/.383/.510 hitter in Triple-A Buffalo that started the #FreeThole movement? Well, that’s translated into just a pair of hits in his first seven games for the Blue Jays, good for a .105/.150/.105 triple-slash.

Yes, you’re reading that correctly: his OPS is the same as JPA’s OBP right now.

If this was a race between the team’s catchers to see who could post the most terrible numbers, you could definitely say that Thole is ahead by a mile. Yikes.

Then again, you couldn’t say that this was entirely unexpected. Despite a promising first full season with the New York Mets in which he posted a .752 OPS as a 1.5 fWAR catcher, the 26-year-old’s yearly OPS has plummeted in each subsequent season in the following manner: .723, .690, .584, .255.

Now, it’s of course unreasonable that the last number will stay that way just because it’s rather unlikely that a major league catcher will hit at below average levels that pitchers do as the sample size expands … but I think it’s fair to say that expectations of him coming in and giving Arencibia a run of his money could probably use a readjustment.

As a result of his total SSS display of ineptitude on offense, not even his defense is holding him back from being a below-replacement -0.3 fWAR player thus far.

And how about his affect on Dickey’s performance, being old teammates from the Big Apple? It’s a mixed bag there too, with Dickey mixing in good outings (including a complete-game gem on Wednesday) between a pair of clunkers which saw 13 earned runs allowed by the knuckler over 11 innings.

But hey … at least Thole has a walk on the season already, right?

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