After another rough day behind the plate, Mets catcher Josh Thole may see some more time on the pine in the near future.
When asked following the Mets' 7-6 10-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night whether he might consider playing backup catcher Ronny Paulino for a stretch of games coming up, manager Terry Collins said, "That's a possibility. And not just that, but to also maybe let Josh have a chance to clear his head a little bit."
"I don't feel like I need a mental blow," Thole said, when informed of Collins' comments. "I mean, it's only May. Geez. I better not be asking for days [off]."
Thole, 24, and in his first full year as a major-league starting catcher, has had some struggles defensively so far this season. On Tuesday night, with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey starting for the Mets, Thole had a couple balls get by him, which allowed runners to advance. The Giants were also 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts, and Thole had a throwing error on one of those throws.
"We've gotta do a better job for sure," Collins said. "We're gonna get him out and do some receiving stuff [before Wednesday's game]."
When asked how he feels defensively right now, Thole said, "I feel all right. I'm a little hard right now, as far as the receving part goes. So I'm gonna do some work on the machine tomorrow, I think that would be the best for me.
"Just get used to slowing my eyes down, tracking the ball a little bit. It's just a matter of relaxing, that's the bottom line. You get a couple guys on base, you get tight a little bit. So I gotta get away from that."
We'll see what happens on Wednesday night, but don't be surprised if it's Paulino behind the plate, catching Chris Capuano.