I know we still have almost a month to go before the 2009 regular baseball season is over but lets face facts the Mets season ended in July. It’s time for the Mets and us the fans to look to 2010. This past week Josh Thole joined the Mets for their series in Colorado. Thole had his first major league game last Thursday going 2-for-5 on the day and stole 2nd base. He had a past ball early on that I think could be contributed more to nerves than anything else. He called a good game that helped Pat Misch get his 1st major league win.
One thing that I’ve noticed since Thole came up is how Brian Schneider has been talking to Thole every game in the dugout. We also hear reports that Schneider is helping before the games and after. Schneider has shown great character knowing that it’s highly likely that Thole will replace him shortly as the Mets catcher. It’s something I think has been missing on this team for awhile.
To be honest it’s way too early to judge Thole, whether he can play here at the big leagues or whether he’s not ready yet. Personally I would not mind if the Mets decided to let Thole play in the minors, at least to start the 2010 season in Triple A. He has yet to play at that level, he’s still adjusting to being an everyday catcher so more experience would only benefit him in the long run.
Since the Wilpons refuse to spend anymore money on this team and the GM is inept at developing talent where does that lead us catcher wise in 2010? Obviously Omir Santos will be on the team but he’s a backup catcher, who will be our everyday catcher? Victor Martinez will be a free agent unless the Red Sox sign him, but I doubt Omar or the cheapskates Wilpons are going to spend for him.
What about bringing back Brian Schneider for the 2010 season with an option for a 2011? He has shown that unlike most people in this club he is selfless in how he has been helping Thole. Watching Sunday’s game as good as Pelf was you also have to credit Schneider with that win. Pelf in his previous starts before Sunday was too much in his own head, actually you can say that about him this whole season. Knowing that I was going to talk about this I re-watched the game yesterday afternoon on an encore showing from SNY and I noticed a few things that I missed from Schneider on Sunday. After every pitch whether the umpire called it a strike or a ball Schneider gave Pelf a nod on the pitch. A few pitches Pelf threw were really nasty, Schneider put his glove out to Pelf encouraging the young pitcher. And when Pelf did give up a run Brian ran right out there to the mound and reassured Pelf on what a good game he was having.
That is signs of a veteran catcher. That comes with experience which is something that Santos and obviously Thole don’t have yet. Schneider has done a good job with the younger guys on the staff in the last 2 seasons. I know he’s below .200 on his avg but he’s going to have a really rough time finding a team willing to give him a contract, he’s going to have to settle for less, he seems to like it here with the Mets, the Mets could sign him for cheap and have a valuable teacher behind the plate.
Thole can play at the Triple A club until about the All-Star season at which point if he’s having a good year in Buffalo he will be called up, the Mets can trade Schneider away to a team for a marginal at best minor league guy like they did with Castro and Thole will play everyday. Schneider won’t cost much so the Coupons Wilpons can spend their money on getting a first baseman as well as a left fielder and a set-up guy instead of a catcher since we do have Thole waiting in minors.
Do you guys think I’m off my rocker in suggesting this? Do you guys want to see Thole start at Ebbets Citi Field next year, assuming of course Citi Field is still standing next year or do you think we should go after a different catcher? Sound off Met fans.