Mark DeRosa is on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle and manager Davey Johnson revealed that he may have aggravated the injury high-fiving Bryce Harper. Seriously.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the details:
DeRosa’s progress returning from a strained left oblique muscle was stunted in an odd way, Johnson said. As Bryce Harper came into the dugout Sunday night after he stole home against the Phillies, DeRosa aggravated his oblique when Harper gave him a forceful high-five.
“I don’t know if that set back the rehab or not,” Johnson said. “But I said, ‘Why didn’t use your [right] hand?’ He said it was spur of the moment.”
In fairness to DeRosa, a 19-year-old rookie stealing home after the opposing pitcher put him on base with an intentional plunking was pretty amazing and certainly worthy of “a forceful high-five.” Of course, considering how much of the past few seasons DeRosa has spent on the disabled list he might want to change his congratulatory routine to, say, laid back thumbs-ups.
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.