Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves will hire Larry Parrish as their new hitting coach, with an announcement expected later today.
Parrish, who hit 256 homers in 15 seasons as a big-league third baseman and made a pair of All-Star teams, had been the Triple-A manager in Detroit’s organization and also managed the Tigers for 186 games in 1998 and 1999.
Atlanta also interviewed Jim Presley for the hitting coach job, but he’s reportedly on the verge of joining Buck Showalter’s coaching staff in Baltimore. Terry Pendleton served as the Braves’ hitting coach this season, but was switched to first base coach with Fredi Gonzalez taking over for Bobby Cox as manager.
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.