Lance Berkman’s other knee is sore now too

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Lance Berkman is on the disabled list after aggravating his surgically repaired right knee, but Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Cardinals first baseman “is now also experiencing discomfort in his left knee.”

According to Langosch tests ruled out any structural damage, but Berkman did have surgery on his left knee in 2010 and this represents another hurdle in his attempt to get back in the lineup and re-establish himself as a regular contributor for the Cardinals down the stretch.

Berkman is eligible to return from the DL on August 18, but general manager John Mozeliak speculated that he’s “still a couple of weeks away.”

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.