New York Mets: Is Management Being Too Patient with Josh Thole?
How do you inject firepower into a lineup that ranks 13th in the National League in home runs? How about you upgrade at positions that are struggling mightily.
Mets manager Terry Collins might be holding his breath too long in hopes that his starting catcher will produce consistently.
Josh Thole has seven home runs in 737 MLB at bats. Mike Piazza had nearly six times that amount in 200 less at bats in 1999.
Josh Thole had 16 passed balls in 2011. Yadier Molina has never had more than eight in a full season.
Are runs batted in important? Josh Thole has eight RBI in 2012, Carlos Ruiz recorded seven on May 2nd of this season.
The Mets may not feature depth in the minor leagues at the catcher position, but there is certainly a reason Sandy Alderson decided to draft Kevin Plawecki in the supplemental round of the 2012 MLB Draft.
Thole, is basically a singles hitter—with a paltry .644 OPS—that does not possess enough defensive ability to justify his mediocre display of offense.
Yes, Thole did suffer a significant concussion stemming from the vicious collision with Ty Wigginton in Philadelphia, but Thole has yet to make a statement with his performance that would convince the organization that he is the long-term solution behind the dish.
Nobody is expecting Thole to be the second-coming of Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench or Ivan Rodriguez, but at this point he is making Jason Phillips look like a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Is Josh Thole the catcher of the future?
The Mets do not possess much power in the lineup, and as I have stated prior with Daniel Murphy, the Mets are sacrificing power at a position that they are not receiving exceptional defense.
Sandy Alderson is a very intelligent baseball evaluator and he knows that he is not looking at the future of the Mets at those two positions.
Thole is a terrific person that plays the game the right way,as is Murphy, but the Mets must recognize that they are not receiving efficient play from two positions.
Terry Collins certainly has his hands tied, considering the right-handed option is Mike Nickeas who is batting an unhealthy .167 with a (look away if you are queasy) .466 OPS.
Alderson may be inclined to put Plawecki on the fast track to the big leagues considering the situation and his maturity, but it may not be soon enough.
The other options in the system are nothing to be excited about, such as Rob Johnson, which means one thing; what was Alderson thinking when evaluating this spot in the off-season?
One of two things will happen soon, Thole will start hitting or the team will bring in an experienced player to push him.
If the Mets are left out of the playoff picture in 2012 and Thole's number are similar to the current time he will not be starting next season.
Thole is now 25-years-old and no longer inexperienced.
It's time to look outside the organization or promote Plawecki quicker than previously planned.
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