Does Thole Have Value As Dickey’s Personal Catcher?

An article by posted on October 11, 2012

I have never put a lot of stock in the whole personal catcher debate. I guess it could possibly be more of an issue when you are dealing with a knuckleballer, and you have a guy who knows how to catch it. It is a difficult pitch to catch, and since Josh Thole has been relatively successful in handling R.A. Dickey, I guess he has some value in that regard.

However, if we do decide to retain him as a Dickey’s personal catcher, then we have to watch his pitiful slap happy at-bats again in 2013. I’m sorry, but I think I have seen enough of Thole as an everyday player at this point. He is just not a major league caliber hitter, and should serve only in a utility role at best, if that. If he batted around .290, then maybe I would consider it even with his lack of power and run production.

A .261 career hitter, with seven home runs and 87 RBI spanning parts of 4 seasons? These numbers are just not going to cut it.

Thole is just 25 years old and is still young enough to develop some pop and increase his ability to drive in runs. But the fact is we struggle to score runs, and he was a major contributor to that this season  Our lineup was essentially seven men deep this season, with Thole and the pitcher being automatic outs almost every night.

If we are going to have someone be Dickey’s personal catcher, I think I would rather call Tim Wakefield and ask him for Doug Mirabelli’s number to see if he wants to come out of retirement.

All kidding aside, I could be okay with Thole coming back in a personal catcher capacity for 2013 . But I will not be happy if he comes back in a platoon situation. He should not get the majority of at-bats behind the plate next season. We need to bring in a legitimate starting catcher and that should rank right up there with all of our other top priorities.

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