Is Josh Thole an adequate supporting catcher?


Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

With indications that J.P. Arencibia will be traded or non-tendered, Josh Thole is now in a position where he may become the second catcher on the Blue Jays’ depth chart.

If Thole does end up being the number two Jays’ catcher, at minimum he will be called upon to catch R.A. Dickey. Last season Dickey played in 34 games. This is a small number, and hopefully Dickey will be in good form and keep allowed runs at a minimum.

But Mike Wilner of Sportsnet made a good point on his twitter account that new acquisition Dioner Navarro hasn’t started in plus 90 games since 2009. Last season he played in 89 games and had a career season hitting .300 with 13 home runs. There’s hope that he can continue his production with a little more power thanks to the Rogers Center.

If the Jays decide to use Navarro in a similar role as he was used last season, this would mean using Thole in twice as many games than he would just catching for Dickey. Is Thole good enough to play around 70 games for the Jays next year?

Well he has at least had two plus 100 game seasons with the Mets in 2011 and 2012. But his 9 passed balls in 39 games at catcher is very troubling. And worse, his batting average has declined every season since he debuted with the Mets in 2009—not good for a hitter who lacks power.

At 27 Thole can still turn the corner and be productive next year. But do the Jays want to rely on him?

Mike Wilner could be correct that Navarro may only fill the role of a backup catcher. There could be another move yet to be made. If that’s not the case, the Jays may at least need to consider an alternate backup for Navarro. When all is said and done, Thole may end up third on the Jays’ catching depth chart.

Would you be okay with Navarro and Thole primarily catching for the Jays next season?