Blue Jays minor leaguer suspended

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It’s 5pm and the rest of the world is going nutso over that mind-blowingly insane Manti Te’o story, so it’s a good time to dump a drug suspension!

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Toronto Blue Jays Minor League right-handed pitcher Alan Farina has received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse.

The suspension of Farina, who is currently on the roster of Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League, will be effective at the start of this season.

Look next week for a story from Deadspin revealing that Farina doesn’t actually exist.

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.