Regardless of Alex Rodriguez’s desired schedule and no matter how fine he thinks he is, Brian Cashman has different ideas.
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News just tweeted that Cashman said that A-Rod was seen by a team-approved doctor in Tampa who went over his MRI and concurred that A-Rod has a grade 1 quad strain. The team had a conference call with A-Rod and his camp in which they discussed a rehab protocol. That protocol: A-Rod will continue his rehab work through July 31. If there are no setbacks, he will play in a rehab game or a simulated game on August 1.
Cashman added that while A-Rod might want to be back this Friday, such a schedule “wouldn’t be responsible.”
They know his health better than any of us do. But why do I still feel like Cashman is stalling for time. Or stalling for Bud Selig? And that this little A-Rod drama of the past couple of days has been designed to blow that plan up?
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.