The best catch tonight wasn’t by a player, but by an elderly gentleman at Wrigley Field.
In the bottom of the second inning, Brewers first baseman Mark Reynolds took Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta deep to the left field. The ball appeared destined to land on the street beyond the bleachers, but the fan stepped on his seat to make a stretching catch. He was leaning right on the railing of the back row, so it actually makes me a little nervous to watch it, but I encourage you to check it out:
The icing on the cake here? The fan kept the ball he caught and threw an older one back on the field. He’s pretty much the coolest.
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.