Phillies lose Cody Asche to left hamstring strain, could call up third base prospect Maikel Franco

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The Phillies announced an unfortunate roster move this afternoon …

Asche is batting .258/.346/.425 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 40 total games this season. Philly will use a platoon of Cesar Hernandez and Reid Brignac at third base in his absence initially, but top third base prospect Maikel Franco, who has caught fire at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, may become an option soon.

Franco, a 21-year-old Dominican, had 31 homers and 103 RBI last season in 134 minor league games.

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.