As spring training fast approaches I want to go around-the-horn on the projected Mets opening day lineup position by position. I will talk about my thoughts on how that position matches up and how it should be handled. Hope you enjoy.
Let’s start the Around-The-Horn with the old backstop. Well in the Met’s case you’d have to take out the old and go with the plural. Last I hear the Mets planned to have an American Idol type contest for the starting catcher spot now that they have brought in like over a dozen players, not one of them with a significant resume.
This brings me to my main point. Josh Thole please bring the goods in spring training and go out and win the job. Hit the hell out of the ball and work your ass off learning the staff and getting better behind the plate. Truth is I normally would scream up and down saying how you can’t start a rookie at catcher. Catcher of all the positions benefits probably the most from veteran experience. But in the Mets case he’s really our only hope.
Nobody else they have stands out. Who would you rather see: Omir Santos, Ron Barajas, Henry Blanco, or Chris Coste. Most people will be saying “Who?” to all of them. It’s really a sad statement when the Mets themselves pointed at catcher as an area in need of major improvement and they basically went out and did nothing. Yes it’s obvious now that Molina never really wanted to come east, but was that the only name on the white-board fellas?
This is why I am really hoping Thole and come in hungry and just take the job. No debating, no hemming and hawing, just say “This job is mine, the rest of you play backups, where you belong.” I don’t want to hear the Mets make any case about Omir Santos being their starter. I actually liked Santos last year, but look at how the Mets handled the off-season. When they felt assured they were going to sign Molina they didn’t just sit pat with Santos as a projected backup, nope they signed Blanco and Coste, all but declaring they had no faith in Santos. Now suddenly Molina say’s he can’t make it this season because he is washing his hair, and now Santos is capable of being our starter when just over a month ago you didn’t feel confident enough in him to be a backup?
If one of these guys was a lights out backstop and was leaps and bounds above the others as a defensive catcher, and more importantly in working a staff and calling a game I would say start him. But none of these guys are really like that. So you might as well stick the kid back there and see how he does. He has by far the biggest upside of the entire group. He killed it with the bat in the winter league, it’s really just a concern about him defensively. Now if this is another Daniel Murphy type thing then no, please send him down to AAA because I don’t want to ruin him too. But he can’t really be that far behind the rest of this band of misfits the Mets have seen fit to gather, can he?