Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Robinson Cancel: You’re On Deck!

Posted by JD on May 30, 2009

Over at MetsBlog, Matthew Cerrone had an interesting take on Mike Nichols’ recap of the Ramon Castro trade:

“That said, they are making a big gamble in that, as Howard Megdal and Ted Berg pointed out to me, if Santos stops hitting, or either he or Brian Schneider get hurt again, then the Mets have very little to choose from in terms of minor-league catching and options to fill in on the bench.”

Can’t disagree with that. The number one option would appear to be Robinson Cancel. While he had his moments last year, he doesn’t have a great track record.  His career line in the majors: .215/.263/.290 BA/OBP/SLG.  That’s a small sample size, but his line in the minors is only slightly less discouraging: .263/.322/.377 (there’s a reason why he spent 16 seasons in the minors). We don’t even get the Crash Davis effect: only 72 home runs (career high: 12).

Other options include Rene Rivera (.227/.252/.333 in 159 major league PA’s, .248/.303/.336 in the minors), Mike Nickeas (.231/.319/.341 in the minors), and 22 year-old Josh Thole (currently .366/.435/.490 at Binghamton).

I seriously hope they don’t rush Thole. He’s putting up good numbers at AA and I’d like to see him exposed to AAA a little bit before he gets to Flushing. And I seriously doubt the pitching staff wants to deal with breaking in a 22 year-old in a pennant race.

If the Mets need a short-term replacement, I’d prefer to see them go with Cancel. It comes down to diversification. While Rivera has played 48 games at first, Cancel has logged 38 games at first, 12 at third, 37 in left, 1 in right, and 34 in the more nebulous category of “OF”. He’s more of a jack-of-all trades type who should be able to plug in at various positions on short notice.

That being said, it would be pretty bleak if Schneider or Omir Santos are injured for a prolonged period. Which, given the Mets’ current luck with injuries, might be only a matter of time…

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