- Last Updated: 11:13 AM, June 1, 2012
- Posted: 2:06 AM, June 1, 2012
Josh Thole is finished with his second “spring training” of the year and ready to get back behind the plate for the Mets.
“It’s kind of like Opening Day for me again,” Thole told The Post yesterday as he prepared to board a flight from Buffalo to New York. “You sit out for 25 days or so, it’s like you want to get back in the saddle.”
Thole will be at Citi Field for tonight’s game against the Cardinals, when he is expected to be activated from the disabled list.
Earlier this week, Thole finally got around to watching the play that landed him to the disabled list with a concussion. It happened on May 7 at Citizens Bank Park, when the Phillies’ Ty Wigginton landed a shoulder to Thole’s face in a home plate collision.
Thole laid motionless for about two minutes, but ultimately walked from the field. After watching video of the play, Thole concluded there wasn’t much he could have done differently, other than maybe wear his mask instead of discarding it.
To that end, Thole plans to unveil a new hockey-style goalie’s mask he began wearing during his minor league rehab assignment. Thole said the mask will stay on for virtually all plays, with the exception of extremely high pop ups.
Thole, who has suffered at least three concussions in his career, said it’s understandable the Mets took it slow with his rehab.
“I knew that given my history they were going to be very cautious with me,” he said. “I knew that coming into it, but it wasn’t serious. Concussions are getting all the big p.r., but you are talking about football players who are time and again getting beat up play after play.
“This one was a little dizzy, a little memory loss, but it wasn’t like I was standing in the dugout vomiting or anything like that. I really considered that I’ve had one real concussion and the other two were just simply very mild.”
After speaking with Jason Bay, Thole is convinced his concussion wasn’t anything close in magnitude to Bay’s. Two years ago, Bay crashed into the left-field fence at Dodger Stadium and missed the final two months of the season.
“We were down in Florida together last week and we talked multiple times,” Thole said. “[Bay] said, ‘You’ve got to be careful, you’ve got to be cautious with it.’ Mine was a little bit different. He was having symptoms and they wouldn’t go away — headaches for two months. I’m fortunate enough that mine only lasted for seven days and then I was fine.”
Thole was off to a solid start for the Mets, batting .284 with a homer and seven RBIs in 26 games before the concussion. His arrival means either Rob Johnson or Mike Nickeas will head to Buffalo.
“I’ve had a chance to work with both of them and they work so hard preparing [for] the game with me,” Thole said. “If you ask any of us — if we could have it our way — we would keep three catchers.”
* The Mets are also expected to call up reliever Elvin Ramirez, who is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 11 appearances for Triple-A Buffalo after beginning the season at Double-A Binghamton. The right-hander has 19 strikeouts and one walk over 14 2/3 innings for Buffalo.
Ramirez was left unprotected by the Mets after the 2010 season and selected by the Nationals in the Rule 5 draft. But Ramirez missed the entire year after having shoulder surgery, and the Nationals subsequently returned him to the Mets. ... Manny Acosta, who was designated for assignment Tuesday, cleared waivers and was out-righted to Buffalo.
* Chris Young, who is coming back from right shoulder surgery, had an impressive rehab start for Buffalo, throwing six scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and three walks.Follow @NYPostsports