Josh Thole’s honeymoon period with the Mets is officially over. No more kid glove treatment, no more excuses, time to man up…
That was pretty much the message that Terry Collins delivered yesterday to Josh Thole according to Andy Martino of the Daily News.
“Basically, what I told him was that last year was not acceptable,” Collins related. “I told him there was too much of that (demonstrating a waving, backhand glove action) that caused Dickey and others wild pitches they didn’t deserve. I told him: ‘I don’t care if you worked on eliminating the 3-4 different stances you had last year, I want to see it.’ I also told him: ‘If you catch the way you did last year, you’d have to hit a whole lot more than .268 to justify me keeping you there.’ ”
In other words, Thole, who has essentially had on-the-job training at the major league level these past 1½ seasons after converting from first base, is going to have to earn his job this spring — and that being the incumbent means nothing in Collins’ eyes. The other day, the manager told Rob Johnson, a light-hitting defensive backup catcher with the San Diego Padres last year, not to think he was in camp competing for the No. 2 job. Even though Thole may have the edge going in, Collins said, the No. 1 job is very much up for grabs.
Lets face it, Mike Pelfrey wasn’t the only Met who regressed significantly last season. At times Josh Thole was absolutely brutal behind the plate. His game calling was questionable too and on a few occasions he was called out for it by Pelfrey, Niese and Collins. He led the National League with 16 passed balls last year and according to Collins, it could have been a lot more save for the fact they were ruled wild pitches. Baserunners stole more on him last season as well.
Thole’s got a lot of work to do.