Mets may wait a week to expand roster
Thole likely to lead callups when Minors season ends
CHICAGO -- The spate of injuries that has undermined the Mets this season now stands as an obstacle in a different way. The Mets essentially have raided the roster of their Triple-A Buffalo affiliate to fill their voids on the big league roster. As a result, they have few players to summon to the parent team Tuesday, when the roster limit increases to 40.
General manager Omar Minaya indicated as much Saturday when he discussed the possible roster changes in the offing. As many as seven players on the current roster -- Wilson Valdez, Lance Broadway, Anderson Hernandez, Cory Sullivan, Ken Takahashi, Pat Misch and Elmer Dessens -- might be playing for the Buffalo Bisons these days if not for a big league disabled list that resembles the Mets' Opening Day roster.
The promotions have drained the Triple-A roster to such a degree, Minaya said, "If we bring up players when we can go to 40, we won't have a full roster in Buffalo."
So the Mets may not summon players until after Sept. 7, the final day of the season for the Bisons and the Double-A Binghamton Mets. Neither team will be involved in the postseason playoffs. The Bisons were in last place in the North Division of the International League with a 53-80 record through Saturday. The B-Mets also were in last in the Northern Division of the Eastern League with a 50-81 record.
"We might bring up a couple right away, we're not sure," Minaya said. "We'll probably wait for the seasons to end."
And even then, the Mets probably won't promote many players.
The speculation is that 22-year-old, left-handed-hitting catcher Josh Thole (pronounced toll-EE) will be summoned at that point. Thole has spent the entire season, his fifth as a professional, with Binghamton, batting .328 with 46 RBIs, 29 doubles and one home run in 384 at-bats through Saturday.
The Mets' staff liked what it saw of Thole in Spring Training. Indeed, when pitching coach Dan Warthen discussed the franchise's young pitchers, he gushed about Thole's skills as a catcher. And manager Jerry Manuel indicated Sunday that he was intrigued by Thole and spoke as if he would be promoted.
"I always thought he'd hit because of his approach," Manuel said of Thole, who had a career average of .276 in 938 at-bats through the end of last season.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.