Red Sox to interview Tony Pena, De Marlo Hale

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Rob Bradford of WEEI reports two more names in the Red Sox managerial search: Yankees bench coach Tony Pena and Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale.

Pena used to be the Royals manager, of course, once winning manager of the year which is kinda nuts because that weird 2003 Royals season sorta feels like it never happened. Or at least shouldn’t have happened.  Hale, for his part, was a longt-time minor league manager in the Sox system before becoming their third base coach and bench coach under Terry Francona.

Pena is to interview today, on the Yankees’ offday in the ALCS. Hale will interview some time later this week. As previously reported, both Tim Wallach and Brad Ausmus are already in the running.

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.