Bad news for the Braves heading into the break: a break. In shortstop Andrleton Simmons’ pinkie finger, that is.
Simmons did it when he slid into second base in the fourth inning of today’s game against the Phillies. Technically speaking he has been diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his right hand.
Simmons, a righty, has been a bright spot in an otherwise bad month or so for the Braves. The 22 year-old rookie has hit .296/.336/.452 while playing stellar defense. But now he’s broken.
No word on how long he’ll miss, but you have to figure a shortstop isn’t gong to be able to throw with a broken finger on his throwing hand.
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.