Henry Blanco is a Backup
According to Mets GM Omar Minaya, Henry Blanco is a backup catcher.
And you thought Minaya didn’t know things.
Unfortunately, Minaya also announced that the Mets’ starting catching position would be a competition between Omir Santos and Josh Thole, both of whom are also backup catchers. So maybe Omar only knows some things.
If this is really the way the Mets think about the backstop position, it might have made sense to sign veteran free-agent Mike Sweeney and have him platoon with Mike Jacobs behind the plate. Both Mikes started their careers as catchers, both would be at least as good defensively as Santos/Thole, and both would have a better chance of providing offensive production that approaches the best that Jerry Grote ever mustered.
It might be different if either Thole or Santos were remarkable defensively — you could live with substandard offense. But if you’re going to hit like Charlie O’Brien, you darn well better catch like Charlie O’Brien.
My apologies to the Kool-Aid drinking Mets fans who believe Thole will hit better than .240, and/or think Santos is going to duplicate his surprising offensive “prowess” of 2009.
At this point the Mets may as well sign Jose Molina and make him the starter. He’ll at least give them a strength on one side of the ball … and it’ll give the Mets an excuse to apply Tony LaRussa’s strategy of hitting the pitcher eighth.