FLUSHING, N.Y., June 24, 2010 – The New York Mets today announced that they have recalled catcher Josh Thole from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League and have optioned lefthanded pitcher Raul Valdes to Buffalo. Thole will wear #30 and will be available for tonight’s game vs. Detroit.
Thole, 23, was hitting .267 (44-165) with 20 runs scored, 19 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 17 RBI in 48 games for the Bisons. The 6-1, 205-pounder was with the Mets earlier this year from May 10-15, but did not appear in a game. Thole missed seven games from June 3-10 after getting hit in the back of the head with a bat on a backswing by Syracuse’s Josh Whitesell.
Since May 1, Thole has hit .318 (34-107) with 14 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 11 RBI in 33 games with Buffalo.
He batted .321 (17-53) with two doubles, one triple and nine RBI in 17 contests with the Mets last season.
Valdes, 32, is 2-2 with one save and a 5.10 ERA in 20 games for the Mets. In 30.0 innings, he’s allowed 34 hits, 18 runs, 17 earned, with 13 walks and 33 strikeouts.
It’s a curious move. Perhaps since Valdes has been used so infrequently, the Mets figure they can use another bat on the bench. Although the Mets don’t seem to have a problem with scoring runs these days, either.
Thole is the third catcher on the roster. Mets.com has this story about Mets catchers and how they must keep their communication skills sharp, especially with two Japanese pitchers on the team.