Josh Thole is fine. I mean… he’s a replacement level catcher who offers you a little with the glove, even less with the bat, and nothing on the base paths. But such is the world of backup catchers, for the most part.
Bryan Holaday started 42 times for the playoff-bound Tigers last year, for example, posting a sub-Tholian .231/.266/.276 line, for a 49 wRC+.
There were two catchers in all of baseball in 2014 who played in fewer than half of their team’s games and were worth more than 1 WAR (Michael McKenry of Colorado, and the Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli). Twenty-three catchers, meanwhile, played in 40 games or more and contributed a half win or less. If they were better, they’d be starting.
If Russell Martin goes down injured for an extended period next season, in other words, the thought isn’t so much, “Oh shit, Josh Thole!” It’s more “Oh shit, no Russell Martin!”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that better isn’t… well… better. And more and more it’s looking like it’s actually possible that the Jays will be one of the fortunate teams to actually have a better option, with theirs coming in the form of last year’s starter Dioner Navarro.
Despite Alex Anthopoulos admitting that he’d look to move the supplanted backstop, a free-agent-to-be who feels he should start, and played well enough last year to warrant an opportunity somewhere, the “right deal” has yet to materialize, and Navarro remains on the roster. One wonders just how hard Anthopoulos has really been trying to move him, frankly. There’s certainly value to the Blue Jays to having a decent backup catcher who also happens to be a switch hitter that had a tremendous second half at the plate in 2014.