Thole covered some familiar ground about himself and his work at improving behind the plate:
“I’m coming along. ....I’ve still got a lot of stuff to work on. ... Hector Berrios, the pitching coach, has been doing a lot of mental stuff—game calling and all that. So I’m getting there. That’s something I have to keep getting my work in every day and keep improving.However, I was more intrigued to learn what Thole thought of about Brad Holt and Jenrry Mejia in their first AA starts.
“I feel like the mental side I’ve made a lot of adjustments on, but my throwing I think has come a long way. I feel more confident, more comfortable throwing. Last year I lacked a little confidence in throwing. Now, whether I throw the guy out or not, I’m just working on just trying to make quality throws to send base, accurate and getting them down as quickly as I can.”
“First off with Holty, he throws a heavy fastball and he can command it to both sides of the plate,” Thole said. “And his curveball is phenomenal. This is my first time ever catching Holt, and his changeup was unbelievable. We talked before the game, and he said, ‘My changeup is normally my third-best pitch.’ He came in and was able to throw his changeup whenever he wanted. I think that’s a big step for him because of how he throws his fastball as hard as it is.
“And then Mejia, he came out and he’s another guy with a heavy fastball. And his ball naturally cuts. It was giving hitters an absolute difficult time. His changeup was his second-best pitch, and he throws a really good breaking ball. He’s getting really good commanding both of them. He showed he can do it. Both of those guys were outstanding the other day.”