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A closer look at Bisons' Dale Thayer

Thayer is one of the good guys of the game
Thayer is one of the good guys of the game
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There have been some head-scratching moves by the Mets this season. It started with their selection of 2B Brad Emaus in the Rule 5 Draft in December despite Justin Turner turning in a .333/.390/.516 season for the Bisons in 2010.

After breaking camp with Lucas Duda on the 25-man roster, New York sent him back to Buffalo only ten games into the season. Duda proceeded to mash with the Bisons, forcing the Mets to call him up in the wake of Ike Davis' year-ending ankle injury.

There have been odd decisions made with the bullpen and starting rotation here and there, but the biggest injustice may be the fact that RHP Dale Thayer is still in Buffalo.

Thayer, the Herd's closer, has arguably been the MVP for the Herd this season. Through August 4th Thayer has a 2.95 ERA in 50 innings of work. In 42 games, the Fountain Valley, California native has 15 saves for a Bisons squad that hasn't presented him with a whole lot of save opportunities.

At 30,Thayer did get a brief look with the Mets earlier this season when they purchased his contract from the Bisons in May. In four games (4.50 ERA, 5 hits, 1 K, 4 IP) the Mets apparently saw all they needed to see.

Thayer wasn't good with the Mets, he wasn't bad either. It was far from a fair enough sample size to have made any judgments on him, so how does a guy who has a season-long WHIP of 1.00 not get another call?

It's nothing new to Thayer, who was been counted out ever since going undrafted out of Chico State in 2002. He eventually signed as an undrafted free agent with San Diego in September of '02. Thayer could have easily gone the way of most undrafted rookies, and just floundered around in A-ball for a few years before hanging it up, but he has worked tenaciously to get where he is.

Thayer has been great at every stop he has made in his trek through the minor leagues. In 464 minor league appearances, from Portland to Fort Wayne, through Mobile, Montgomery and Durham, Thayer has terrific minor league career numbers (2.51 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 541 Ks in 552 innings).

Thayer's path is far from unique, but most guys who have done what he has done so consistently have gotten their chance. With his trademark mustache, Thayer is an easy guy to pull for.

Here's hoping that Thayer gets a look from the Mets when rosters expand in September, and if not, hopefully he can catch on with a team that will give him every chance to make their Major League roster this winter.


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