Matt Moore expects to be activated this week

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Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune has the goods:

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Moore (sore left elbow) threw a simulated game Saturday before the Tampa Bay Rays’ 4-2 win over the visiting New York Yankees and pronounced himself ready to rejoin the rotation later this week against the Angels.

Rays manager Joe Maddon watched that simulated game and agreed that Moore looked ready to go.

That would mean no minor league rehab start for the 24-year-old left-hander, who has been out since July 28 with left elbow discomfort. “I feel comfortable enough with where I’m at to think a bullpen is going to get me ready for a game in four days,” Moore told Mooney after his workout on Saturday.

Moore has a 3.41 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 121 1/3 innings this season.

The Rays are tied with the Red Sox in the American League East.

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.