After bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and Baltimore all season Kevin Gausman will finally get an extended stay in the Orioles’ rotation because of an injury, as the team placed Ubaldo Jimenez on the disabled list with a sprained ankle and announced that Gausman will replace him in the rotation.
Jimenez apparently injured his ankle in the parking lot Wednesday, as manager Buck Showalter explained to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com:
He stepped in a hole in the parking lot. We were looking at it today. It’s pretty puffy, taped up. He tried to take a work day yesterday. We were hoping that it would resolve somewhat today, it did not and he’s not going to be able to start tomorrow.
“He stepped in a hole in the parking lot” is a new one, as far as weird injuries go.
Jimenez has been a huge disappointment in the first season of a four-year, $50 million contract, going 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA and league-high 60 walks in 100 innings. Gausman, meanwhile, has a 3.51 ERA in six starts and the former No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft has looked ready to emerge as a front-line starter.
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.