After missing three weeks with a back injury Jered Weaver came off the disabled list yesterday and shut out the Giants for six innings.
Being on a limited pitch count in his first start back kept Weaver from a potential complete-game shutout, as he needed just 78 pitches to get 18 outs and allowed just two hits before exiting.
Weaver left his May 28 start against the Yankees in the first inning with what initially appeared to be a serious back injury, but was diagnosed with merely a strain and reported no problems following last night’s outing.
His back problems will loom as a potential issue, but Weaver sliced his AL-leading ERA to 2.40 and also leads the league in WHIP at 0.91.
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.