Pirates designate lefty reliever Joe Beimel for assignment

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Contenders interested in adding another left-handed reliever to the bullpen mix may take a look at Joe Beimel, who was designated for assignment by the Pirates.

Beimel had a sub-4.00 ERA every season from 2005 to 2010, but his ERA stands at 5.33 after serving up a homer to right-handed slugger Ryan Braun yesterday and he hasn’t even been effective versus left-handed hitters this year.

His velocity is also down slightly, although Beimel never succeeded because of impressive raw stuff and his pre-2011 track record means the 34-year-old will likely draw interest from another team if the Pirates release him.

He’s owed about $400,000 for the remainder of the season.

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.