Much was expected in 2012 for Mets starting catcher Josh Thole. He left Spring Camp with one message from manangement – swing for the fences. The results have been staggering and I mean that in a bad way.
It’s yet another case of where the Mets front office tried to squeeze a square peg into a round hole and not only did this Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins brainstorm fail to produce the intended effect, but Thole connected for just one home run all season long – two less than he had last season. The converted catcher’s slugging percentage dipped from .344 last season, to .289 in 2012. #EpicFail #LOLMets
Yesterday, Collins admitted that their decision to transform Thole into a power-hitting catcher was flawed and regrettable. They now intend to give Thole all the playing time he needs to resurrect his former self – which was the Josh Thole with the .690 OPS in 2011. Seriously?
Adding to this tragic tale of Mets woes is the fact that Thole has been awful defensively and in many ways has regressed in several aspects of his backstop duties.
My question is this…
We’ve seen what Thole could do at his best (ugh) and what he could do at his worst (vomit bag please), isn’t newly acquired catcher Kelly Shoppach the catcher we really need to see more of between now and the end of this season?
Do we really want to give Thole the bulk of the playing time, as was suggested yesterday, just so he can once again become the .268 hitter he was before the Mets messed with his swing back in March?
Who makes these stupid decisions, because I want to know if I should be directing my tirade at Terry Collins or his higher-ups?
There may be a good chance that Kelly Shoppach could be a starting catcher for us next season, but I wouldn’t dare be so bold as to lock him in while only seeing him get some sparse playing time in September.
It’s time to evaluate and start thinking about next season and before I lock up Kelly Shoppach to a two year deal, I want to see him go through the rigors of a regular grind from here on in. I’m talking five starts a week against both righthanders and lefthanders.
So far, I can’t complain about his job as Thole’s backup, but it’s time for a role-reversal. Thole has all Winter to find himself again and become that ,260 hitter with no power and no defense that we all adored.
Right now, all I want to know is if Kelly Shoppach can carry the load as an everyday catcher and what he can do in that capacity both offensively and defensively.