UPDATE: Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times passes along word that Freese exited with right calf tightness. He’s considered day-to-day.
9:44 p.m. ET: Troubling development for the Cardinals, as third baseman David Freese was forced to exit Game 3 of the NLCS tonight with an apparent injury.
Freese was visited by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and a team trainer after he singled against Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu to lead off the top of the fifth inning. He remained in the game initially and advanced to second base on a single by Matt Adams, but was then replaced by pinch-runner Daniel Descalso. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch speculates that it could be a hamstring/leg issue.
Freese is 5-for-26 (.192) with one home run, one double, and four RBI so far during the postseason.
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.