Initially expected to miss just a few games with what was termed a “mild” oblique strain, Geovany Soto is headed to the disabled list and Lou Piniella said this afternoon that “he’s going to be out probably a month or so.”
Soto followed up his Rookie of the Year-winning debut by getting off to
a brutal start this season, but has been hot recently while hitting
.261/.337/.591 with seven homers and 14 total extra-base hits in his
last 100 plate appearances.
Now the Cubs will turn to Koyie Hill as their primary catcher, which
is bad news given that he’s hit just .203/.277/.301 in 124 games as a
big leaguer after posting an underwhelming .281/.339/.439 line in 406
games at Triple-A.
Jake Fox could see some time behind the plate if the Cubs get
creative by sacrificing defense for offense, but it’s more likely that
Hill will receive the bulk of the starts while a minor-league veteran
like Mark Johnson or Chris Robinson back him up. Either way, it’s
another significant blow to a Cubs team that can’t afford many more
setbacks at this point.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.