Today on ESPN 1050, Terry Collins said, in his view, Josh Thole is a ‘No. 1 catcher,’ especially since he improved as a ‘signal caller’ during last season.
Last week, Alderson said the Mets are ‘thin at catcher,’ and, though he’s heard nothing but good things about Thole, he will try to acquire additional catchers, ‘both at the major league level and at Triple-A.’
Like I’ve said before, to me, Thole showed enough to be the every-day catcher next season. He’s good behind the plate, not great, but good, plus he’s young and learning. The pitching staff seemed to have no issues throwing to him. He has very little power, but gets on base at a consistent rate and he’s far from an anchor on the bases.
Also in his interview with ESPN, Collins said, until he says otherwise, he believes Carlos Beltran is a center field, though it will be determined in Spring Training whether Beltran stays there or moves to right field.
He also feels, based on who is likely to be in camp, there will be an open competition at second base between Luis Castillo and Daniel Murphy.
He said he has already watched Murphy this off season in winter ball, and plans to soon travel and visit with Castillo.
Lastly, he said, if healthy, Fernando Martinez could compete for a job on the roster in Spring Training, and he is confident Jason Bay will return to form in 2011.
To listen to Collins on ESPN 1050, as well as to hear Alderson who later called in to the show, keep an eye on ESPN New York.