08/31/12 6:50 PM ET
Mets trying to get Thole back in swing of things
By Tom Green / MLB.com
The Mets catcher has been mired in a 0-for-25 slump entering Friday's series opener with the Marlins. The drought dates back to Aug. 14 against Cincinnati, and is the worst slump of Thole's young career.
"We're trying to reestablish the swing he had two years ago when he first got here," Collins said, referring to the swing that helped Thole hit .287 between 2009-10. "Shorten his swing up, shorten up on the bat a little bit. ... Just to get him to go back where his hands were a bit and go back to being the guy he was when he got here."
Collins said Thole has been swinging too aggressively and needs to get back to being a singles and doubles hitter with a less violent swing.
While Collins admitted that Thole has been trying to hit like someone he isn't, the Mets manager added that he was doing that because the team asked him to. When Thole's average began to fall, the club asked him to try to pull more balls, hit a few home runs and drive in guys because he was so good at making contact.
"He felt uncomfortable doing it and I think due to that, he's got himself in a couple of bad habits, so we tried to resurrect the old swing to shorten him up again," Collins said. "We'll see how that works."
Catcher part of pair of expected Mets callups
MIAMI -- When rosters expand Saturday, there will only be a couple of new faces in the Mets' clubhouse.
Manager Terry Collins said the team plans to only call up two players to help bolster depth on the roster. While Collins wouldn't name names, he said both callups will be position players and one will be a catcher.
"Just numbers," Collins said. "Make sure we have protection."
That means Triple-A Buffalo catcher Mike Nickeas could join the team for the second game of the series at Marlins Park. Nickeas is already on the Mets' 40-man roster and has appeared in 42 games for New York this season. During his time with the Mets, Nickeas hit just .168 with a .241 on-base percentage. In 21 games with Buffalo, he is hitting .349 with a .386 on-base percentage.
Collins also said the Mets have talked about seven or eight other players that could be called up after Buffalo's season ends Monday.
The team has no plans to promote any Double-A prospects when rosters expand, but Collins, whose background is in player development, didn't rule out calling up some Triple-A guys that aren't currently on the 40-man roster, but have had a productive season in the Minors as a "tip of the hat" to reward the player.
Collins also cautioned that there are some prospects that won't be called up because the club doesn't want to start the clock on their service time.
Mets start Torres over hot-hitting Hairston in center
MIAMI -- Marlins Park may be considered a pitcher-friendly stadium, but the Mets took an extra measure to try to help righty R.A. Dickey get a step closer to his goal of a 20-win season on Friday night.
New York started Andres Torres in center field instead of the hot-hitting Scott Hairston in an effort to shore up the team's defense against National League East rival Miami.
"As well as Scotty has been swinging the bat, this is a place where we need to catch the ball," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Hairston is hitting .330 over his last 31 games dating back to July 20, while Torres is hitting just .264 since the All-Star break. Despite that, the Mets felt the need for more speed to track down fly balls in the cavernous outfield at Marlins Park.
"We're sitting here with R.A. pitching, knowing the kind of field we're playing on, so we know the importance of playing defense here," Collins said. "This park is so big, the outfield is so big here, we want to make sure we've got the defensive team out there to make sure we're putting [Dickey] in a good opportunity to win a game."
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.