Jim Riggleman to remain Nats manager in 2011

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Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that Jim Riggleman will remain the manager of the Nationals next season.

“Yes, he will be back next season. He has done a terrific job,” Rizzo
said.

“He is a terrific baseball manager. He has great respect from his peers
in this game. When the game starts, he is as good as anybody in the
game. He has the respect in the clubhouse. He is a diligent worker and
he is a loyal employee.”

Entering play on Friday, Riggleman has led the Nationals to a 75-96 record since taking over for Manny Acta last July.

After exploring other candidates last offseason, the Nationals officially removed the interim tag from Riggleman last November. Ladson writes that Riggleman was signed to a one-year contract with an option for 2011. That’s not exactly true. According to this report by Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post in April, Riggleman was signed a to two-year contract with an option for 2011, however only one year was guaranteed. The Nationals retained the right to buy out the remainder of his contract after the 2010 season for $100,000.

It doesn’t matter now, though, because it looks like they’ll keep him in the fold.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.