Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Matt Garza has been scratched from Sunday’s scheduled start against the Red Sox due to right elbow tightness. It will be probably all hands on deck for the Cubs tomorrow, though James Russell or Jeff Samardzija are the most likely candidates to make the start.
According to Paul Sullivan of Chicago Tribune, Garza will have the elbow examined by team doctors when the team returns home Monday, but Cubs are hopeful he will only have to miss one start.
Garza, who was acquired from the Rays in January, has a 3.72 ERA and 68/20 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts this season. He has averaged 10.99 K/9 over 55 2/3 innings, which is tops among major league starters.
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.