Chipper Jones is very impressed with Stephen Strasburg

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Chipper Jones has been teammates with future Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz and he got to see plenty of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Kevin Brown during their heydays. Stephen Strasburg, though, might outclass them all:

“He has the best stuff, the best repertoire of pitches that I’ve seen on any one single pitcher,” Jones said Friday.

It’s a lofty statement, but it hardly seems completely out of line. The 23-year-old Strasburg has used his 94-98 mph fastball, curve and changeup to great effect this year, amassing a 4-1 record, a 2.21 ERA and a 64/13 K/BB ratio in 53 innings.

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.