2011 Evaluation: Dale Thayer

Why waste a post on Dale Thayer, who pitched all of 11 games in relief? Why not?

His audition was evaluation, so this post will be as well.

Overall, not much to say about Dale Thayer. He is a career minor leaguer with ordinary, unspectacular stuff. Looking at his minor league career, which is chock full of saves, stingy ERAs, and impressive strikeout rates, it’s a shame that he never had a fair, extended shot at breaking into a big league bullpen. I get why it didn’t happen — he doesn’t throw gas and he doesn’t have a wicked breaking pitch. But, Doug Jones, Todd Jones, and Bob Wickman (among others) made a nice living closing games with similar skill sets, so it’s not crazy to think Thayer could have done the same.

But that time has passed, and now the 30-year-old righthander is AAAA filler material. Though he looked unspectacular, his numbers in that tiny ten-inning sample size weren’t too bad: 1.16 WHIP, no walks, and a 3.48 ERA. However, the bulk of his work came in garbage innings in September. That said it’s hard to evaluate Thayer fairly.

2012 Projection

Is there room in the Mets organization for a thirty-something reliever with so-so stuff? Yes; in fact, there is room for just about any pitcher who has shown an ability to throw strikes consistently and who has continually put up good numbers in AAA — regardless of age. What do the Mets have to lose? It’s not as though Thayer will be “stealing” innings from a young fireballing phenom. If there’s room in Buffalo, and Thayer has interest, I’d hope that the Mets keep him around — there’s something to be said for his survival thus far.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argonbunnies November 24, 2011 at 1:45 am
    Thayer doesn’t walk guys, has a funky low delivery that could vex righties, and has decent sink on his fastball. He really struck me as being a better pitcher than the last guy in most teams’ bullpens, including the Mets’. I have no idea why he didn’t get a bigger shot.

    I’m getting tired of, “Could be great, but is often terrible,” out of the bullpen. Give me, “Consistently okay,” any day.