Archive for the ‘Josh Thole’ Category

Thole Likely Out For Entire 2012 Season

September 2, 2011

Sorry buddy.

It’s baaaaaaaaaaack…the dastardly bone bruise finds another unsuspecting Met victim in Josh Thole.

Does this sound familiar?

“As the night progressed, it was getting better.”-Josh Thole

kind of similar to this,

May 11, 2011

“Hopefully be back soon.”-Ike Davis

or my personal favorite,

June 22, 2009

“We hope that it’s only two weeks, that’s what we hope.”  Omar Minaya on Carlos Beltran

I guess we can be thankful this is in Josh’s hand and not in his leg like his Met predecessors.

Aw, who am I kidding?  See you in 2013 Josh.

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Annual Trip Recap

July 27, 2011

The annual trek to Cincinnati was a success.  A Mets win makes all of the travel time worth it.  For posterity’s sake, I wanted to summarize this year’s game experience.

Every year the interactions with Reds’ fans is typically fun.  This year wasn’t any different as it started when we stopped outside of Cincinnati to fill up our tanks:

One of our regular readers (@kelstarcher) wondered if I threw him an air claw.

We got caught in some traffic and missed batting practice.  Slight bummer, but were able to make it to our seats right after the national anthem.

Once we got settled in, I started tweeting the experience.  Of course, my first tweet failed because I attached a picture and I imagine it was too large of a file or something lame like that.  Maybe next year I take a member of our technical staff with us.

Anyway, here goes the game time tweets.

My reaction to J Bay ending the first inning run scoring extravaganza with another strikeout:

My reply to @MetsFanInPhilly after asking me if I was at the game:

During past ventures to the Great American Ballpark, I have been impressed with the overall baseball intelligence of Cincy fans.  Last night was a break from the norm.  It was about this time (Brandon Phillips first at bat) that I first witnessed what would be a recurring theme behind me:

I tried to spend some time observing things you normally don’t get to see when watching the game on TV:

The hash tag at the end was actually:

#nottheguyisouldstandnxttoconsideringinjuryhistoryofthemets.  Damn technical staff, where are you guys?

Back to the in game tweets. 

An absolute must:

Carlos Beltran had just scored on a sacrifice fly by J Bay:

The huge video screen in left field runs a promotion with Bronson Arroyo narrating.  Something about healthy kids making healthy choices.  I don’t recall because I was distracted by the following thought:

More from the super fans after Jose pops up in the seventh inning ending his night at the plate with an 0 for 5 performance:


At this point in the night, having the technical staff with me again would have been helpful.  I sent another failed tweet giving an air claw to Shannon, the nicest concession stand worker ever.  No joke.  She somehow made a trip in which I dropped ten bucks on popcorn and a lemon icey a pleasant experience.  Well done Shannon.

Several minutes later I became frustrated that I couldn’t find the Atlanta/Pittsburgh score on the out of town scoreboard:

After Pedro Beato got Drew Stubbs to fly out to end the eighth I tweeted the following (I wonder how many started to re-consider as the Reds made it interesting in the ninth?).

Another year, another trip.  I’m already looking forward to next season’s excursion.  I want to take a second to thank Sandy Alderson for listening to me.  Thanks Mr. Alderson!

See you next year Cincinnati.

Muprhy’s Aggresiveness & Passed Balls

July 26, 2011

It sounded like the Mets played a solid game last night.  I say sounded because I was blacked out due to the fact that I live two and a half hours from Cincy.   So a couple quick observations from my experience listening to the WFAN crew and going back later to watch some of the crucial plays.

Roger Ramjet

Daniel Murphy’s unnecessary aggressiveness has been documented in the past here at Midwestropolitan.com.  I figured I’d share a couple of other points of view about Murph’s propensity to make mistakes trying to force the issue.  Last night he killed the Met’s first scoring chance in the second inning trying to advance to third on a bouncer to the pitcher.  It was a play that Jose Reyes would have been thrown out on.

Keith Hernandez shared with the SNY viewers that he calls Muprh “Roger Ramjet”.  Sounds like a horribly cheesy cartoon character to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I know Murphy helps the team way more than he hurts it.  Last night was no exception, as he came up with the biggest hit of the game.  I imagine that in time he will learn how to hone his aggressiveness to use only for good.

Two Fun Little Tidbits

The Mets have scored 191 runs with two outs.  That leads the National League.

Josh Thole allowed his 14th passed ball of the season.  Honestly, that is pretty awful.  I realize he has to catch R.A. Dickey which is no small task, but 14 passed balls is excessive.

Thole can breath a sigh of relief as he has a way to go to catch the passed ball king.  Rudy Kemmler allowed 114 passed balls in the 1883 season.  In Kemmler’s defense, it wasn’t the norm to use a glove until the middle of the 1890′s.

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40-39

June 29, 2011

Extremely Good Player On The Right

The Mets broke through the .500 barrier in a big way.  Some pretty important things happened tonight.  Here they are for those of you that had other “obligations”…

  • The New York Mets have now won five of six and have put together a lovely little three game winning streak on the road against the big bad American League.
  • Jose Reyes went 4 for 4……again.  Seriously, we have reached the point of utter insanity where there is nothing left to say about how unbelievably well he is performing.  God forbid he has a string of games in which he goes 1 for 4.  Everyone will be proclaiming he is in a major slump.  I know we had a little bit of fun with it earlier today, but it is utterly ridiculous that Troy Tulowitzki has a chance to start in front of Jose in the 2011 All-Star Game.

VOTE FOR REYES DAMNIT!

  • Jason Bay broke the 299 game grand slamless streak with a blast down the left field line in the fourth inning.  While I am tickled pink that my namesake was able to make this happen, you won’t find me claiming or hoping this means he has broken out of his season long slump.  Fool me once, shame on you Jason……
  • Not to be outdone, Carlos followed with his own grand slam the very next inning.  Brilliant.
  • One could almost forget that R.A. Dickey pitched a nice little game tonight.   He has given the Mets at least seven innings and no more than three earned runs in five of his last six starts.  His ERA is now at 3.77.
  • Angel Pagan had the quietest three for three/reach base all five times imaginable.  It was so quiet, I failed to include it in the original draft of this post.
  • Keep an eye on Justin Turner.  I have a feeling his thumb is bothering him a bit more than he is letting on.  He has certainly cooled off at the plate.  That alone is not an indicator of a troublesome thumb.  His “easy” throw to first on a throw in the second that lead to an error may be the key.  He doesn’t strike me as a guy that takes plays off, so I am wondering if his thumb is more of  a factor.
  • Josh Thole said, “Screw slap singles.” and delivered his first home run of the season.
  • Manny Acosta lowered his ERA below 10.00 with a scoreless inning in the ninth.  Baby steps.
  • Who’s counting, but …..aw who the hell am I kidding, I am.…the Mets have scored 36 runs in their last three games.  That is an average of 12 runs per game (thanks Midwestropolitan Stats Department).

Tom’s prediction of taking two of three in the Motor City is looking pretty good right now.  Damn…..I’ll never hear the end of this…

Gee, Turner, Bay, and The Jurrjens Death Stare

June 4, 2011

The Mets picked up a nice Don’t Disappoint Game win tonight thanks to the one and only Dillon Gee.  He is a monster. Simple as that.

You know you are doing something right when people continually say “This guys knows how to pitch.”

Justin Turner Likes Playing Baseball

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned Justin Turner in one of my posts.  It is almost as if I have come to expect his daily dose of solid play.  I know I am going to get at least one hit out of him, be reliable with the glove, and do the little things to win.

Tonight was no different.  One for three, solid D, and a nice two strike sacrifice fly to bring in the Mets last run of the night.

The guys on SNY briefly brought up the conversation of who would play second base when Wright and Davis get back.  Ron Darling had a good point.  He said that these things usually have a way of working themselves out.  Basically, we shouldn’t expect Tuner, Murphy, and Tejada to all play this well for the entire stretch of Wright and Davis’s injuries.

Regardless, another solid game from Red tonight.

And on the complete other end of the spectrum…..

Jason Bay, Our Right Fielder

The worst beginning to a Mets career ever continues with an 0 for 4 evening.  To be honest, I am no longer frustrated with Jason Bay.

I actually feel bad for him in a way.  It has to do tremendous damage to his psyche when he and everyone watching the game in the park and on TV know he is going to see an outside breaking ball with two strikes and he still looks utterly foolish waving it at for strike three.  Over and over and over again.

Wow.  That was a really long second sentence.  We may have to open up the coffers here at Midwestropolitan and hire an editor. 

Allow me to share how I prevent this monstrosity of a season from affecting my daily life.

You see, I have a substantial amount of experience as a little league coach.  If you have ever participated in or watched a little league game you inevitably know who the kids are that are an automatic out in your lineup.  You are just hoping that they draw a walk or get hit by a pitch because you and everyone else knows they won’t be getting a hit.  They typically play right field on defense.

Jason Bay is the Mets version of the “Little League Right Fielder”.  It has gotten to the point where I am surprised when he gets a hit and I place it in the category of offensive production I didn’t expect tonight.  Much like when little Johnny miraculously places a swinging bunt in the perfect spot on the infield and scampers to first for his only hit of the season.

So now when he gets to the plate, all of the anger and frustration are no longer present.  I am rooting for him to do well, but have come to expect little production.

This is a much better option than getting angry and saying mean and hateful things about him and his family all the time.  It’s not like the guys isn’t trying.

Midwestropolitan Public Service Message:

If you are the guy that is saying mean and hateful things about Jason Bay and his family, stop.  Call this 1-800 number linked here for help.  And remember, only you can prevent forest fires.

Jair Jurrjens Death Stare

In this day and age the camera picks up everything.  After Jose Reyes’ huge triple in the seventh inning, SNY showed Jair Jurrjens’ reaction (the starter that had just been pulled for those of you that did not get to see the game).

He threw his hands up in the air and shot over a very scary looking death stare in the direction of his manager, Fredi Gonzalez.  I swear, I thought laser beams were going to come out of his eyes or possibly daggers, maybe poisonous rattle snakes.

I have to agree with Jair on this one.  Why bring in the pen there Fredi?  You have arguably your best pitcher on the hill facing his first sign of trouble at only 80 or so pitches.  A big reason why he was in trouble was because his shortstop booted the ball around to begin with.  It’s not like the Mets were owning him all game long.

Sometimes I think managers feel they have to make moves just to remind everyone that they are still present.  Almost like that annoying clinger friend we all had in high school, “Hey guys, what’s up?  I’m still here.  What are you guys doin’?”

Regardless, I thank you Fredi Gonzalez.  Again.

Handing Out Wins Like It’s Halloween

May 3, 2011

Dickey Let Down

R.A. Dickey will be the first one to tell you he has to step up his game.  Six runs on seven hits won’t cut it.  Hopefully,  he finds the feel for his knuckle ball real soon.

Worst 3 for 5 Game Ever

Josh Thole may be melting down right in front of our eyes.  He has quickly become a liability defensively.  A few days ago, I was barely aware he had already allowed seven past balls.  Add another two more and a 1-2-3 double play with a chance to win the game in the ninth and you have yourself the shittiest 3 for 5 performance ever.

In Summary

This 2011 version of the New York Mets simply can’t afford to give away many more wins like this.  Squandering a three run lead thanks to my boy Carlos, giving up the lead that Ike regained, and then blowing a chance for a win in the bottom of the ninth isn’t how it’s drawn up.

Knock it off.

Hello Ronny! So Long Thole?

May 2, 2011

It is amazing what a 5 for 7 night against the Phillies can do for one’s rep in NYC.  Ronny Paulino has been anointed by some as the new starting catcher for the New York Mets.

The immediacy in which some of you are ready to discard my fellow Midwestropolitan, Josh Thole, vexes me.

Alas,  poor, poor  Josh, native of Breese, Illinois.  Yes, I used the word alas in the year 2011.  And yes, I did so with a British accent in my head.  Please allow me to be a voice of reason during these dark times for our young catcher.

Wouldn’t it be prudent to gather a larger sample size before crowning Paulino the King of Catchers in Queens?  Dude hasn’t even unpacked his luggage yet.

The smart play here is to go with a platoon.  From what I gather neither has a distinct advantage over the other defensively.  Allow Ronny to continue to crush left-handed pitching as he has done for six seasons (.342 BA in 232 games).  This in turn puts Thole in a position to succeed against the right-handed pitchers (.297 BA in 107 games).

One thing is for sure, it will be interesting to see how Thole reacts over the next few weeks.  Paulino’s absence early in the season gave him quite the opportunity to cement himself as the every day back stop.  His .234 average didn’t get it done.

Will Paulino’s bad ass return force Thole to press forcing a return trip to Buffalo?  Or will he re-focus and bring his average closer to the .274 clip he has established in his first 115 games?

Don’t Change A Thing

April 27, 2011

Quick thoughts for you to read on this Wednesday while your boss is paying you no mind:

  • The lineup is solid. It’s no coincidence in my mind that Jason Bay’s return changed the dynamic of the lineup and the team. Reyes is doing his thing in the leadoff hole and Murph is filling in the two hole very well. The heart of the order are all more than capable mashers. I can only hope that Angel Pagan will come back strong and figure out his swing. Then Terry will have the chance to figure out whether he wants Murph or Pagan to hit 2nd and 7th respectively. Thole is perfect at #8.
  • Bottom line, if the pitching can give quality starts this offense can win games. Bay’s addition strengthens the lineup not just from the standpoint of adding his bat (which I expect him to have a monster bounce back year) but by pushing Ike down to 6th as well. It just makes every trip through the order that much more difficult.
  • It seems like the bullpen issue is sort of being figured out. Buchholz, Beato and then Isringhausen seem to have stepped it up as a bridge to K-Rod, who is really not pitching all that bad.
  • No need to overreact to a 5-game win streak that came against mediocre to crappy opponents, but it looks like the team is playing free and easy now. Unfortunately the upcoming schedule is killer, so we’ll see if the Mets really have made any progress. It just looks to me like they went from a team that was playing tight and could do no right to a team that’s halfway decent. The lineup is coming together nicely, likewise for the staff and the pen. Now the key is to continue the progress and hopefully get to .500 shortly. I want to be relevant!

ESPN: “Ten Reasons The Mets Aren’t That Bad”

April 7, 2011

What a terrific title. No BS this time. Let me get right to it…

1. David Wright is still a really good player. He fell out of the “SportsCenter” highlights during that 10-homer season in 2009, but hit 29 last season. If he gets his OBP back in the .390 range, he’s one of baseball’s best third baseman, a step below the Ryan Zimmerman/Evan Longoria duo.

  • The strikeout totals concern me. 161 last year was too much. Already this year he has 7 in his first 5 games. Even so, Wright is absolutely one of the elite third basemen in baseball and I think the Mets can bank on him being right around his 162 game average of 27 HR and 107 RBI. He’s the franchise.

2. Jose Reyes in a contract year. All the skills are still there. He still has the speed and the rocket arm. He doesn’t turn 28 until June. I feel a big year, back among the NL runs leaders … and a big contract in the offseason.

  • Does he have the potential to have a big year? Sure. Does he also have the potential to miss half the season? Yep. If he is playing well and the Mets are out of the race in July he might be on his way out with the right deal. If the Mets are in it and he’s playing well, he may be on his way to an extension. I really don’t know. I lean towards the latter as opposed to the former. I think the Mets organization still wants to try and win something big with the left side of the infield intact.

3. Angel Pagan is for real. He’s a solid center fielder, a switch-hitter with speed and just enough extra-base power to be dangerous. You can win a division title with Pagan out there. For example, is Shane Victorino really any better than Pagan?

  • What I don’t get is how winning a division title affects the player comparison. You can win a division title with Jamie Moyer in your rotation. So what? It really has little to do with who is better. That said, Victorino has 3 gold gloves and some great post season success. I love Pagan and I loathe Victorino. In other words, I’d take either on my team.

4. Depth in the lineup. As Baseball Prospectus pointed out in its annual, the Mets gave 40 percent of their plate appearances to hitters worse than league average. Among the culprits with at least 100 plate appearances: Luis Castillo, Rod Barajas, Alex Cora, Henry Blanco and somebody named Jesus Feliciano. This year, the Mets go eight deep in the lineup, with catcher Jose Thole hitting eighth. And Thole isn’t that bad. Not much power, but a decent .357 OBP as a rookie in 2010.

  • Right. The lineup was never going to be the problem, especially once Bay returns. Reyes-Pagan-Wright-Beltran-Bay-Davis is a dangerous 1-6, especially with pesky hitters in the 7 and 8 holes. The problem is instead when your rotation is loaded with #3 and #4 starters that end up matching up against another team’s ace or #2 starter every 5th day. Without Santana the Mets have no ace, and I’m not sure they have a #2 either.

5. Brad Emaus. My colleague Eric Karabell loves Emaus. Hey, he’s gotta be better than Luis Castillo. Of course, my couch is better than Luis Castillo.

6. The bench. Lucas Duda has some good minor league hitting numbers, Scott Hairston can hit lefties, Daniel Murphy is back after being injured last season and he’s a nice utility guy.

  • How could I not be convinced by “some good minor league hitting numbers” and “nice utility guy?” Still wondering what the plan is for Murph…

7. Potential in the rotation. I am worried about Mike Pelfrey after two bad starts, but the rotation could be solid with R.A. Dickey, a step forward from Jonathon Niese, a comeback from Chris Young and Chris Capuano. Yes, they lack an ace unless Johan Santana returns healthy, but all these guys could at least be decent. And if you have five decent starters, you have a chance.

  • I just don’t see how the Mets rotation gets them to the playoffs without Santana leading the way. There’s no #1 and there’s no #2 until proven otherwise. There are solid #3′s (Niese, Young, Pelfrey, Dickey), and a shaky #5 (Capuano) but Santana’s return is key. The Mets have to find a way to stay in the picture until then. If Santana is any good, it will improve the entire staff because guys will be able to slot down one spot in the rotation a piece.

8. The bullpen is sneaky good. Hard-throwing Bobby Parnell is ready to emerge in the setup role, D.J. Carrasco is a ground ball specialist with a rubber arm who won’t give up many homers,Taylor Bucholz was really good with the Rockies before getting injured. I’m no fan of K-Rod, but he’s better than a lot of closers. (But can we dump the nickname please? He really hasn’t been K-Rod since about 2007.)

  • I have a wait and see mentality about this. I hope Mr. Schoenfield is right. I also hope K-Rod can figure out how to get through an inning without allowing two base runners. I hope his “I have to strike out every batter and be so perfect that I thus torment my manager with walks” mentality fixes itself too. Hope…

9. Terry Collins. Let’s put it this way: BP reminded me of the incident last season when Jerry Manuel had Castillo bunt in extra innings against Cardinals outfielder Joe Mather. Collins is worth a win or two from a strategic/lineup viewpoint. Or maybe three or four.

  • So far I love what I see with Collins. The Mets are playing aggressive and smart for the most part. The guys seem to like him. But, let’s see if his style wears thin as it has in his past gigs.

10. Carlos Beltran’s knees. I’ve avoided mentioning them until now. The Mets are due a little luck in the health department, right?

  • If he can figure out how to hit again like he did in ’06 that’d be fantastic. Don’t count on it.

Add it all up and the Mets could win 86-87 games, and in the National League that could make them wild-card contenders.

  • I picked the Mets to finish 4th in the East and I’m not about ready to change that 5 games into the season. Many things have to go right for them to be in contention for the division or for the wild card. Let’s see them play good ball for an extended period of time and if they do I’ll willingly eat crow.
  • Here is the full article if you so desire…

Thank You Smart People

April 3, 2011

Technology is a wonderful thing.  Last night I was in hog heaven.  The TV was playing the Final Four and I had my laptop showing the Mets game.  A big thanks goes out to all those really smart people who have come up with the technology to make this possible.

Two quick observations from last night before I head out for my Sunday.

Watching Carlos Beltran learn right field on the fly will be interesting.  For those of you who have never played outfield before it is more of an adjustment than you think.

Beltran has been used to watching balls jump off of bats at a certain angel his entire career.  Now he has to adjust to a completely different look.  Consider the amount of ground outfielders have to cover in the bigs.  The read they make off the bat is critical.

We saw the problem this creates on the foul ball that Beltran misplayed.  A month into the season I believe he will have made the adjustments and this won’t be an issue.

The second adjustment he has to make is he is no longer the captain of the outfield.  As a centerfielder you have to have an “alpha dog” mentality.  Any ball you can get to is yours and the others better get the hell out of your way when you call for it.

Last night we say Beltran hold his ground when Pagan tried calling him off in right center.  This is an adjustment I think Carlos will have a more difficult time making.

Josh Thole had a good night at the plate.  His go RBI single in the ninth, appeared to be a game winner until K-Rod pulled a K-Rod and blew the save.

On Friday night Collins pulled him for a pinch hitter for a more favorable righty/lefty matchup.  I’d like to see him get a chance in these situations.  I understand last night he faced nothing but right handed pitching, but I fell Thole is a tough out.  So let’s create a larger sample sizes in late game situations against lefties before we pull him for a pinch hitter.


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