Rays infielder Sean Rodriguez, who was sent down to Triple-A Durham earlier this month, is sidelined with a fractured right hand after punching a locker in frustration following Sunday’s Bulls game, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
“Definitely the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,”” Rodriguez told Topkin. Rodriguez was involved in an altercation with a teammate before the incident took place.
The break isn’t severe, so Rodriguez hopes to be back playing in a week. The Rays were planning on calling him up on Sept. 1, but that’s off the table for now. He does figure to rejoin the team once healthy.
The 27-year-old Rodriguez hit .215/.278/.330 with six homers in 297 at-bats before his demotion.
Rodriguez is at least the third 40-man roster player to suffer a break by punching something in the dugout or clubhouse, joining Indians reliever Nick Hagadone and Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney. Then Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez missed some time in July after hurting his hand punching a cooling fan in the dugout.
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.