Strasburg strong in return from injury

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Making his first Arizona Fall League start in 12 days, Nationals prospect Stephen Strasburg blanked the Peoria Saguaros over 3 1/3 innings on Saturday, allowing just one hit while striking out six and walking two.



Strasburg tossed 36 of 64 pitches
for strikes while his fastball was clocked as high as 99 mph. The
20-year-old was scheduled to pitch last Saturday’s “Rising Stars Game,”
but was scratched after suffering a stiff neck.




“It was a good day. My goal was just to go out there and pound it in the strike zone,” Strasburg said.



Strasburg’s 4.26 ERA over 19 innings
might not jump out at you, but take out one hiccup against Peoria on
October 22 (seven runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings) and he is a much more
impressive 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA. Strasburg’s four wins lead the AFL,
while his 23 strikeouts in 19 innings ranks third.




While Strasburg was denied the stage
of the “Rising Stars Game,” his next start will most likely come in
next Saturday’s AFL championship game. Strasburg’s team, the Phoenix
Desert Dogs, have a four-game lead on the Eastern division title with
five games left on the docket.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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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.