Phillies fire three coaches; Ryne Sandberg promotion next?

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Minutes after their season came to an end with a 5-1 loss the Phillies announced that three members of manager Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff will not be back in 2013.

Bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross, and first base coach Sam Perlozzo have all been let go, while pitching coach Rich Dubee and third base coach Juan Samuel will apparently stay on the staff.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg is expected to get a promotion to join Manuel’s staff, although his likely role is unclear.

Philadelphia briefly got back into the Wild Card hunt following a brutal start, but finished 81-81 to snap a nine-season streak of winning records that dates back to Larry Bowa as manager.

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.