Jason Motte set for follow-up MRI on elbow Tuesday

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Jason Motte was forced to begin the season on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, but he’s hoping to close games for the Cardinals again soon.

Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Motte is scheduled to visit Dr. George Paletta tomorrow for a follow-up MRI on his elbow. While he has been limited to arm exercises since he first complained of symptoms following a Grapefruit League appearance on March 21, he could be cleared to ramp things up if improvement is found.

“Tomorrow, we’ll be able to compare where we were to where we are,” Motte said before Monday’s home opener. “From there, we’ll move forward with what they’ll let me do or not do. If they say everything looks fine, we’ll move on from there. It just depends on what they say I need or don’t need.”

Mitchell Boggs is serving as the Cardinals’ closer with Motte sidelined. After he allowed one run in four innings over his first four appearances this season, he was touched up for seven runs (six earned) on two hits, four walks (two intentional) and a wild pitch today against the Reds. The Cardinals’ defense didn’t help matters, but…ouch.

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.