Josh Beckett cleared for three-inning simulated game Friday

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Two days after experiencing “mild concussion symptoms” from an errant batting practice ball to the head Josh Beckett has been cleared for a “normal day” of workouts and is scheduled to throw a three-inning simulated game tomorrow.

Beckett passed various brain function tests yesterday and barring a setback he’ll be lined up to start Tuesday, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.

Not only did manager Terry Francona joke about Beckett’s “normal” brain function yesterday, MacPherson writes (and NESN has video showing) that Beckett arrived at camp today with a neon yellow hat and orange reflective vest for Red Sox staffer Ino Guerrero, who hit the ball that struck Beckett on the side of the head.

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.