Alex Rodriguez has Minnesota to thank for his playoff reputation not being even worse

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If you think Alex Rodriguez has a terrible reputation for his playoff performance now, just imagine what things would be like without the Twins’ pitching staff around.

As a lifelong Minnesotan and Twins fan I have some pretty vivid memories of A-Rod destroying my favorite team in the playoffs, and sure enough I crunched the numbers to find these startling stats:

For his postseason career Rodriguez has hit .391 with three homers and a 1.094 OPS in 10 games against the Twins, compared to hitting .246 with 10 homers and a .774 OPS in 62 games against every other team.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez and the Yankees the Twins might not be back in the playoffs for a while.

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.