Ryan Zimmerman went from having a miserable season to being one of the best hitters in baseball after getting a cortisone injection in his injured right shoulder on June 24, but with the effects starting to wear off the Nationals third baseman got another shot today.
Prior to the injection Zimmerman hit just .218 with three homers and a .590 OPS in 55 games. Since the injection he’s hit .332 with 19 homers and a .994 OPS in 75 games. No wonder he’s going back for seconds.
Also of note is that manager Davey Johnson told reporters that Zimmerman will likely need offseason surgery on his shoulder, which has been an issue all year. It’s expected to be arthroscopic surgery, so it shouldn’t impact Zimmerman’s readiness for next season.
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.