Mets' Josh Thole takes a stance behind the plate


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- New York Mets catcher Josh Thole knew something was wrong defensively last year. He just couldn't figure out what it was.

After leading the National League with 16 passed balls in 2011, the 25 year old spent two weeks this winter in Dallas with Mets minor league catching instructor Bob Natal. It didn't take long to discover the problem.

"My stance was off," Thole said. "I kept getting in and out of my stances. ... I was as inconsistent as you can get."

Watching video from last season, Thole saw himself constantly switching his stance behind the plate -- as much as four different stances over a two-inning period. And every time Thole's position changed, his glove placement would change with it.

Narrow. Wide. On one knee. Up and down. Thole couldn't settle on a stance.