Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen appeared to injure his left wrist while making a diving catch on a Carlos Beltran line drive early in Saturday’s 7-3 victory over the Cardinals. He stayed in the game for a few more innings but was eventually removed, and now he’s absent from Sunday’s series finale.
Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says McCutchen assured the Pirates’ medical team that he could have finished Saturday’s game, so his absence Sunday is likely just precautionary.
The 25-year-old has a .346 batting average, a .993 OPS, 15 home runs, 14 stolen bases and 51 RBI in 312 plate appearances this season for the second-place Buccos. He has appeared in 74 of their 77 games.
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.