Aaron mentioned earlier this morning that Shaun Marcum made it through a 30-pitch simulated game yesterday with no issues. Now he’s ready to make the next step.
According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Marcum is scheduled to make a minor league rehab start Thursday with Class A Wisconsin. It will be his first start since June 14 due to right elbow soreness.
Marcum was recently moved over to the 60-day disabled list, so he won’t be eligible to rejoin the Brewers until August 15. Of course, given the long layoff, he will require need multiple rehab starts, anyway.
Marcum, an impending free agent, posted a 3.39 ERA and 77/29 K/BB ratio over his first 13 starts this season prior to hitting the shelf. Assuming he avoids any setbacks, he’ll have a limited window to be showcased for a potential waiver deal before August 31.
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.