The problem that I had with Brian Schneider in 2008 and 2009 was that he was an automatic out. Now, I’m starting to long for the days of Schneider hitting .218. After watching Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco over the last three weeks, I’m wishing we had a .218 hitter behind the plate.
Mike Pelfrey has been astounding so far this season and he’s given credit to his personal catcher, Henry Blanco. And everyone seems to like what Barajas is doing in the field as well. But let’s not forget that catchers have to bat! Barajas and Blanco are rally killers.
I wrote last October that the Mets needed a youth movement at catcher. As it turns out, I was right. Although Omir Santos and Josh Thole haven’t done much hitting at Buffalo in the early season. But they aren’t doing any worse than Barajas and Blanco.
The Mets should have gone with Santos and Thole. There’s too much emphasis put on the fact that the pitchers are more comfortable with Barajas and Blanco. And too little emphasis put on the fact that they can’t hit. You can teach Thole and Santos to work better with pitchers. You’re not going to teach middle-aged catchers how to hit.
Santos hit .260 with 7 HR’s in 300 at-bats in 2009 and he did that in an awful lineup for a terrible team. Thole hit .321 in 53 at-bats when he was called up in September. It’s a small sample size but I’d like to see more of what he can do. Neither catcher was a problem offensively and they should have been given a chance this year.
The Mets made a mistake by bringing in Barajas and Blanco. Everyone makes mistakes and I’m okay with that. The problem is that it’s the same mistake they made when they brought in Brian Schneider in a trade after the 2007 season. The difference now is that the Mets have two viable catchers that can hit and would have made a great platoon.