NBC SportsTalk: The wild, wild NL wild card

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Joe Sheehan and I were on NBC SportsTalk last night, talking about those crazy Brewers and Phillies. Of the two teams who may shock the baseball world, Joe likes the Phillies. I said that I still think the Cards will turn it around, but that between the hard-chargers, I liked the Brewers. Of course I’ve changed my mind about ten times since this aired last night. And likely will do so ten more times in the next few days.

That may make me wishy-washy, but I freakin’ love the fact that we have so much chaos going on right now that it inspires such wishy washiness. Means there’s some exciting baseball happening.

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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.