David Lennon reports in Newsday, that Josh Thole has worked intensely with Mets catching coordinator Bob Natal this offseason in an effort to prevent a recurrence of the defensive issues that plagued him in 2011.
“I’m getting to a point where we’re not in a trial-and-error period anymore,” Thole said. “It is what it is. If I don’t catch well over the course of this year, it will be a matter of who’s next, they’ll keep the line moving, and I can’t have that.”
“If things aren’t going well, they’re not just going to keep waiting on you. You have to take the bull by the horns and do it yourself. There’s going to be no ‘he’s young — give him time.’ Those days are over. It’s time to get it done now. I’ve got to keep going forward.”
It sounds like Thole understands it’s do or die time and that if he wants to keep his hold on the starting catcher’s job he needs to amp up his performance this season in a big way.
Thole’s 16 passed balls last season were the most in the National League and while the majority came while catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, he still made many other miscues that did not appear in the boxscores according to Lennon.
Thole has been working “intensively with Mets catching coordinator Bob Natal” this offseason, and is now in St. Lucie, two weeks early where he will work with new bench coach Bob Geren, a former major-league catcher.
He told Lennon that he is more confident than ever about his ability behind the plate.
“I thought I was really prepared last year coming into spring training, and compared to the way I feel right now, it’s almost like I wasn’t even close,” Thole said. “It’s a complete 180.”
I hope he makes it, I really like his makeup and attitude.It