Brian Schneider's tenure with the Mets the last two seasons has no doubt been a roller coaster, both physically and emotionally.
The Washington Nationals traded Schneider and Ryan Church to the Mets in the winter of 2008 in exchange for Lastings Milledge, who did not fit into the Mets plans or the clubhouse.
Milledge did not seem to want to abide by the hierarchy of the team and upset the chain of command in the clubhouse and broke or at least bent several team rules.
Both Church and Schneider were valuable pieces on a team in last place, but Church was longing to be an everyday outfielder.
He started off the season with a bang and it appeared that his wish would have been granted if it wasn't for two concussions in March and June of 2008.
At the time of the trade, many teammates, past and present, billed Schneider as a trusted game-caller and defensive catcher whose offensive contributions were secondary, but adequate for the position.
Paul LoDuca had been the starting catcher for the Mets since 2006, but a variety of issues kept the Mets from retaining him. Injuries and some off-the-field incidents were the ultimate reasons he no longer fit into their plans.
In my opinion one of the reasons that LoDuca fell out of favor is that he was and still is close friends with David Wright and with the off field controversies it was feared that Wright would be pulled in to the situations and wind up in difficulty of his own.
Lo Duca was a terrific hitter and worked very well with the pitchers, but his defense wasn't good enough and they wanted it to be a priority for a catcher entering the organization.
Schneider has been riddled with injuries, starting with an infection in his finger which required him to be hospitalized. He's also had several back and knee injuries that have kept him out of action for extended periods of time.
Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, and Oliver Perez have all benefited from Schneider's guidance and friendship on the days they pitch.
In the beginning of the 2009 season, the Mets had Ramon Castro. Castro was often injured, and was a great offensive producer, and he was also the clubhouse clown who kept everyone relaxed and laughing. But the Mets traded him to the Chicago White Sox for Lance Broadway.
During Schneider's absences, Omir Santos proved to be a productive backstop and it was apparent that Schneider's job may be in jeopardy, despite manager Jerry Manuel's vote of confidence.
Josh Thole made his MLB debut yesterday afternoon at Coors Field and did admirably, and with Brian Schneider a free agent at the end of the season, it is quite possibly the end of the road for him.