Thole was traded from the Dodgers to the Angels on Friday along with Adam McCreery in exchange for cash considerations.
The Angels need another catcher with Jonathan Lucroy out with a concussion and a broken nose and Kevan Smith dealing with a sprained hand. Thole will report to Triple-A Salt Lake, indicating that Smith is likely ready to go. Thole is good enough to fill in at the position if called upon, but nothing about the eight-year veteran's .242/.313/.306 career slash line suggests he'll be a fantasy asset if he gets a chance with the Angels.
Thole has been promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Austin Barnes sustained a groin injury Sunday, so Thole's promotion is a likely sign that catching prospect Will Smith is headed to the big leagues, per Gurnick. Thole was slashing .277/.368/.400 for Double-A Tulsa before the move.
Thole signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers on Tuesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
Thole hasn't appeared in the majors since 2016, when he hit .169/.254/.220 across 136 plate appearances for the Blue Jays. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2018, slashing .317/.425/.367 across 17 games. Look for him to serve as organizational catching depth in 2019.
Thole signed a minor-league deal with Detroit on Friday, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
The veteran catcher last played in the big leagues for the Blue Jays in 2016, posting a .169/.254/.220 line in 50 games. He's expected to report to Double-A Erie.
Thole was released by the Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Thole joined the Diamondbacks at major-league spring training but went hitless in his 12 at-bats in the Cactus League. He'll look to latch on with another club, but he'll almost certainly have to settle for a minor-league deal.
Thole underwent surgery this spring to repair a torn hamstring and won't be able to ramp up activities until at least early August, the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro reports.
He was in camp on a minor-league deal with Arizona, but it seems unlikely that he will be able to play in a game this season. Thole expressed a desire to play in winter ball as a way to limit his time away from competition.
Thole (hamstring) was reassigned to minor league camp Friday.
The backstop already wasn't expected to play in the majors this year due to recently suffering a significant hamstring tear. If a second opinion upholds that dire prognosis, this procedural move may be only the first step to shutting Thole down completely.
Thole has been diagnosed with a "significant" hamstring tear that could sideline him for the entire season, Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com reports.
According to Piecoro, Thole will seek a second opinion on his injury, but the indication is that surgery is a possible course of action. Despite the loss of Welington Castillo this offseason, Arizona does have a group of serviceable catchers on the roster with Chris Iannetta and Jeff Mathis. Thole, a non-roster invitee, was unlikely to make the Opening Day roster prior to his injury.
Thole was holding his left hamstring as he was helped off the field Wednesday, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
The severity of the injury still isn't clear, so he should be considered day-to-day until the Diamondbacks update his status. Thole is just 1-for-9 (.111) this spring, and will likely serve as organizational depth in 2017.
Thole agreed to a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks on Monday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.
Thole was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays in 2016 after struggling at the plate to the tune of a .169 batting average over 50 games played. He has never been much of an offensive threat and will likely provide organization catching depth for the Diamondbacks in 2017.
Thole cleared outright waivers and elected free agency, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
He has never been good at the plate, but Thole was so bad in 2016 (.474 OPS) that he eventually lost his job as R.A. Dickey's personal catcher late in the year. His familiarity with the knuckleballer may help Thole continue sticking around the majors though, as the Braves have a need behind the dish.
Thole has just four at-bats in September, far fewer than in any other month this season.
With R.A. Dickey seemingly moved to the bullpen for good, Thole -- Dickey's personal catcher -- is no longer needed to make spot starts behind the plate. His role on the team has been reduced to its lowest point of the season, and considering he lacks fantasy relevance even when seeing regular time, it's hard to imagine a fantasy league where Thole's worth owning.
Thole has received just two at-bats since signing a major league contract with the Blue Jays at the beginning of the month.
Thole's 2016 campaign has been one to forget. The 29-year-old came out of spring training as R.A. Dickey's personal catcher and in line to receive a solid amount of spot work spelling veteran backstop Russell Martin. Now sporting a career-low .155 average through 116 at-bats, Thole only gets on the field when Dickey is on the hill, and the catcher immediately comes off -- usually via a double-switch -- as soon as the knuckleballer is finished. Now with Dioner Navarro in the mix (and Dickey's next start being skipped), Thole is unlikely to see much, if any, playing time in the near future.
Thole signed a major league contract with the Blue Jays on Thursday.
Thole was DFA'd less than a week ago after the team acquired Dioner Navarro, but he'll now rejoin the Jays after clearing waivers Tuesday. He is knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's preferred catcher and will likely only be deployed down the stretch when Dickey is on the mound.
Thole cleared waivers and became a free agent on Tuesday, VICE Sports' John Lott reports.
He was recently designated for assignment, but apparently wanted to seek a change of scenery. As Lott notes, the line of teams waiting to sign Thole shouldn't be long, as he slashed .158/.246/.211 in 132 plate appearances this year with the Blue Jays.
Thole was designated for assignment following Sunday's 9-6 win over the Twins, Barry Davis of Sportsnet reports.
The Blue Jays bolstered their catching corps by acquiring Dioner Navarro from the White Sox over the weekend, leaving no room for Thole as the club's third backstop. Thole had been a mainstay on the Blue Jays' roster over the last four years due to his comfort with catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, but he rarely made an impact with his bat. He was sitting on a .164/.254/.218 batting line across 128 plate appearances this season prior to being dropped from the 40-man roster. Assuming he goes unclaimed off waivers, Thole could still opt to remain with the organization as a depth catcher at Triple-A Buffalo.T
Thole went 0-for-3 with an RBI, his seventh of the season, in Tuesday's win over the Angels.
Making his routine spot start behind the plate with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on the hill, Thole's third straight hitless effort lowered his batting average to a measly .151 on the season. The left-hand hitting catcher's splits have been equally as disappointing, as Thole's hitting .156 in 32 at-bats against southpaws, and .149 in 74 at-bats versus righties.
Thole went 0-for-2 and scored a run in Monday's game against the Rays, which was just the third time this season in which Thole started consecutive games for the Jays.
Although the catcher's fantasy value is extremely limited, Thole has paid dividends to daily players that have rolled him out there at a bargain price in recent weeks. Over his last nine starts, Thole has seven hits, five RBI, three runs and three walks. These numbers don't exactly light up the scoreboard, but they are more than serviceable for a player who comes in at the bottom of the salary scale in daily formats.
Thole went 2-for-3 with a two-RBI double in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the A's.
The reserve catcher enjoyed some rare success at the plate, opening the scoring on the day by plating Troy Tulowitzki and Darwin Barney with a two-bagger to deep right field in the third. Thole now has back-to-back multi-hit and RBI efforts, and is slashing .333/.385/.417 over 12 at-bats in July.
Thole struggled in his limited playing time during the first half of the season, hitting a measly .141 with just one extra-base hit in 78 at-bats.
The fact that Russell Martin was disgustingly awful for the first two-plus months of the season, and Thole still didn't receive extra playing time, tells you all you need to know about his fantasy value. If not for being knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's personal catcher, it's very unlikely that Thole would still be wearing a big league uniform with the way his season has gone.
|10/21/2016 vs Cleveland|
|vs Price (Career)||9||1||0||.111||.091||.111|
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