News: Josh Thole is NOT staying in Venezuela

Despite what was reported by ESPN.com below, Mets C Josh Thole has left his Winter League team in Venezuela, according to this report.

“It’s a shame but we made a mutual decision, because he wanted to rest in December,” team President Luis Avila said.

“The good thing is that he wants to comeback next season.”

…as always, thanks to Andres M for the links and translation

Original Post at 1:51 pm:

In his exhaustive blog post for ESPN.com, Buster Olney writes:

“Josh Thole, who is currently playing in the Venezuelan league with the Leones de Caracas, will not return to the team.  Thole, who leads the league in hitting decided to do this to begin prepping himself to fight for a job with the Mets in the spring.”

For what it’s worth, Mets catchers hit .252 with 13 home runs and 86 RBI last year, while free-agent C Bengie Molina hit .265 with 20 HR and 80 RBI.