Even when Angel Hernandez is right, he’s wrong

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With the White Sox down 4-2 to the Twins, Alejandro De Aza hit a liner to shallow right to lead off the top of the seventh tonight. Darin Mastroianni made a diving play on the ball, but came up a little short, and replays made it clear he grabbed the ball on a hop, leaving De Aza with what should have been a single.

And that’s what it would have been, had first-base umpire Angel Hernandez’s call stood. He ruled no catch on the play, but the umpires gathered afterwards and reversed the call, giving Mastroianni a catch.

How Hernandez allowed that to happen is anyone’s guess. He clearly had the best angle on the play, and while I’m not 100 percent sure about this, he should be functioning as the crew chief with normal crew chief Ed Rapuano apparently on vacation.

As it turned out, the blown call may not make much of a difference. Despite losing a baserunner, the White Sox went on to score four runs in the seventh and take a 6-4 lead. Of course, that only happened after Hawk Harrelson said “That is B.S.” on three occasions, later adding, “That’s ridiculous,” “That’s a joke” and “Boy, I wish I could cuss right now.”

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.