R.A. Dickey brought two personal catchers with him to Toronto in Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas and it has become apparent today that neither will be making the major league roster once the team breaks camp at the end of the week.
This is obviously more surprising for Josh Thole, who despite his poor hitting for the last couple of years, there was hope a few seasons ago that he could be an “alright” batter at the plate. The former Mets starting catcher is even on the 2013 Mets calendar.
Well not only did Thole have a poor year at the plate last year (and I mean poor, .234 BA, 16 extrabase hits including only one homer, 21 RBI’s) he has had a worse spring than Mike Nickeas. In this spring, Thole has hit .171 over 35 AB’s while Nickeas has hit .212 over 33 AB’s.
Thole, Nickeas and former Mets catcher Henry Blanco had a unique opportunity this Spring at Jays’ camp. JP Arenciba, the projected starting catcher, was playing for team USA meaning there would be a lot of time for all three catchers to prove themselves on the Jays’ depth chart. Thole had an inside track as he was essentially brought to the Jays to catch for Dickey, which isn’t a bad idea.
Henry Blanco was the only catcher who actually took this chance to heart and rose to the occasion (well that might be a bit harsh to say, but Blanco was the only player who at least rose to the occasion, I can’t speak as to the heart of Nickeas and Thole). He is hitting .320 in 25 AB’s this spring.
Thole has already been officially demoted to Triple A Buffalo so only Nickeas and Blanco are left in camp to contend for the last catching spot, but it is hard to see the Jays going with Nickeas and his track record of poor hitting over Blanco.