Archive: October 27th, 2009

2009 Analysis: Josh Thole

josh_thole-hitJosh Thole made the improbable jump from A-ball in 2008 to MLB in 2009 — making a pit-stop in AA Binghamton in between. After hitting .321 in his 17-game September debut, and delighting fans with his youth, energy, and choked-up line drives, there’s at least a little buzz pushing for Thole to assume the starting catching role in 2010.

But is Josh Thole ready for full-time, prime-time action behind the plate?


2009 Analysis: Brian Schneider

brian-schneider-profileThere was a time that Brian Schneider was an agile receiver with a great glove, strong arm, and the added bonus of some pop in his bat. In fact I can remember when Omar Minaya was GM of the Expos, and he supposedly spent every winter turning down offers for his young and promising backstop.

Those days are long gone, unfortunately. Today, Schneider is only about average behind the plate in all areas and well below average offensively. He has ten years of experience in the National League, and appears to be a bright fellow, so we can assume he has a “book” on most opposing hitters. Still, we didn’t hear many glowing comments about his abilities from the members of his pitching staff — which is mildly concerning. He may have the reputation as a guy “good at handling pitchers” but other than a few notes about him doing a nice job with Mike Pelfrey, there hasn’t been any concrete proof of that.

Part of the problem could be that


2009 Analysis: Omir Santos

omir-santos-commonsIt’s safe to say that Omir Santos exceeded expectations in 2009.

Santos was signed as a minor league free agent in mid-January, an under-the-radar move lost among announcements such as Casey Fossum, Bobby Kielty, and Valerio de Los Santos — not unlike a similar transaction that brought Ramon Castro to New York in the winter of 2004. At the time, even those who noticed the signing figured Santos was simply an extra guy to catch all those pitchers invited to spring training. Santos was competing with Rene Rivera, Robinson Cancel, Salomon Manriquez, Josh Thole, and others for a third-string backup job that didn’t exist.

But Brian Schneider struggled with back ailments all spring, something about Santos caught the eye of Jerry Manuel, and the rest is history.