The adversity continues to pile up in St. Louis.
According to Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch, Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday will be held out of the starting lineup for a second straight game Sunday against the Indians due to back spasms.
It’s not a major injury and isn’t in danger of becoming one, but his absence is still a concern for a team with four fairly key offensive contributors (Lance Berkman, Jon Jay, Skip Schumaker and Matt Carpenter) currently on the disabled list. Not to mention ace Chris Carpenter and lefty Jaime Garcia.
Holliday is batting .276/.362/.458 with 10 homers and 35 RBI. He’ll presumably be back Tuesday.
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.