With Josh Thole's defense at times in question, the Mets on Thursday announced they've brought in a backup who should be able to handle a pitching staff if need arises.

Rob Johnson, a 28-year-old defensive specialist, has joined the organization on a Minor League deal.

Johnson, carries just a .197 lifetime average in 228 Major League games, but he posted a 3.26 catcher's ERA with the Padres last season, the fifth-best mark in the Majors among backstops with 50 or more starts. Johnson made 67 appearances last year, second most in his five-year career to 2009, when he played in 80 games for the Mariners.

Johnson's lifetime on-base percentage is .297 and his three home runs last season were a career high. A fourth-round Draft pick of the Mariners in 2004, Johnson has caught 28 percent of potential basestealers (47-for-169).