Alex Cobb lands on disabled list with left oblique strain

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Rays starter Alex Cobb shut out the Reds for seven innings in Saturday’s 1-0 win and has now gone 15 1/3 innings without allowing a run. But it’s going to be a while before he can try to extend that streak.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays placed Cobb on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning with a left oblique strain that he suffered near the end of his outing in Cincinnati. He is headed back to Florida for an MRI so that the Rays can get a better idea of the strain’s severity.

Tampa Bay is off to a decent 7-5 start, but Matt Moore (elbow), Jeremy Hellickson (elbow), and Cobb are now missing from a rotation that looked great on paper coming out of spring training. Cobb, 26, owns a superb 2.66 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 8.2 K/9 in 162 1/3 innings since the beginning of the 2013 season.

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.