The Sad and Abominable State Of Mets Catching

An article by posted on December 1, 2011

According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, catcher Jorge Posada, formerly of the Yankees, contacted the Mets who told him they were not interested because they’re looking for a defensive back-up.

As we’ve all talked about a lot on this site this past season. Ronny Paulino was a big fail in that regard and may I remind everyone that there was plenty of dope out there on Paulino long before we signed him. Not to mention a steroids suspension he had yet to complete.

The main reason Alderson targeted Paulino was simply because of his .896 OPS against LHP in 2010. That number dropped to .752 this past season against southpaws and he only hit one home run (another reason they signed him was for his homerun power).

If you’ve read my 2011 reviews on Josh Thole, then you shouldn’t be surprised at how shocked I am that the team is actually locked onto him as the starting catcher for next season. In fact I’m floored by that decision.

I wrote the following on Thole in my 2011 Player Review:

Thole has already had a few pitchers jaw about his pitch calling and you don’t need binoculars to see how miscast he looks behind the plate. His instincts are lacking and his offensive game leaves much to be desired. On a team that will have too many dead outs in their lineup in 2012, Thole is the worst one because he can’t field his position at a satisfactory level. When an opposing batter makes it to first base, they start drooling when Thole is behind the plate – even those who run as slow as John Olerud. Thole is a huge problem for the rotation, and for a team that is going to find themselves struggling to score runs and protect leads next season.

So just how bad were Paulino, Thole and even Mike Nickeas behind the plate last season? Check out the 2011 Beyond the Box Score Catcher Defense Rankings – Read’em and weep…

  • #75  Mike Nickeas (-0.6)
  • #93  Josh Thole  (-2.3)
  • #96  Ronny Paulino  (-3.6)

Sadly, Jorge Posada would be a significant improvement defensively, Mr. Alderson.

We don’t need just a veteran backup, we need a legitimate starting catcher who can get the most out of our mediocre starting rotation that can ill-afford the slightest mistakes.

One such catcher would have been Ramon Hernandez, but unfortunately the Colorado Rockies swooped in and signed him last night to a two-year $6.5 million dollar deal – a bargain in my opinion. Oh and by the way, Hernandez ranked #7 in the Catcher Defense Rankings.

But hey, cheer up Mets fans, word is filtering in that the Mets are very interested in Jason Varitek who will be 40 in April and was the worst ranked defensive catcher in baseball last season.

Play BAWL…

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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