Even though Josh Thole got knocked pretty good at a play at the plate from Ty Wigginton on Monday night and laid motionless on the ground for a few minutes, he was able to walk off the field under his own power. That gave Mets fans and the coaching staff some hope that their starting catcher wouldn’t have to miss a significant amount of time. After the opening game of their series in Philly, Thole felt dizziness and experienced hot flashes, and still had some lingering dizziness the next morning, which prompted the Mets to send him back to New York for more testing.
The tests administered gave the Mets news that they didn’t want to hear; it was indeed a concussion for Josh Thole, sending him to the disabled list. Last year, Major League Baseball instituted a special, seven-day disabled list specific for players who suffered from concussions, so that is where Thole has landed for the time being. GM Sandy Alderson told the media that Thole will most likely be out
longer than just a week, especially due to multiple concussions that he experienced earlier in his career.
As of right now, the plan is to shut Thole down completely from any athletic activity for the next seven days, then reevaluate his condition a week from now. New York’s young starting catcher got off to a red hot start in 2012; he’s cooled off of late, now hitting .284 on the season, but is sporting a healthy .356 on-base percentage, and has reached base in all but three of his 26 games this year.
Terry Collins felt as though Thole should have kept his mask on for that play, but that injury looked unavoidable whether he kept his mask on or not. In all reality, I’m sure Collins is just extremely frustrated that key player after key player is getting hurt, especially within the past week. For now, the catching duties will be split by Mike Nickeas and freshly called up Rob Johnson, who is hitting .291 with two homers in 15 games at Triple-A so far this season. Collins will put Johnson right to the test, as he is planning on inserting the veteran into the lineup tonight against Cliff Lee and the Phillies. To make room for this move, New York transferred Pedro Beato to the 60-day DL.
This is the second Mets starter to land on the disabled list in less than a week, as Ruben Tejada wasn’t able to avoid it with his strained right quad. Good news did come for Tejada, though; he whacked his face pretty hard during his fall on Sunday afternoon against the Diamondbacks, but after some tests the shortstop has been cleared from having any symptoms of a concussion. He is eligible to return from the Disabled List on May 22nd and the organization expects him to be ready for game action by then.
As Collins told the media yesterday, it seems as if the injury bug has bitten the Mets more often than other teams in recent years, but either way, he has to run nine guys out onto the field every night. It’s Terry’s job to make these players believe that they can play every day and win. So far, he’s done a fantastic job of getting his players to buy into what he’s selling them. Only 1.5 games out of first in the middle of May? I’ll take that with open arms.