We’re getting some partial scouting reports from Ben Sheets workout down in Louisiana today, courtesy of a series of tweets from Trenni Kusnierek of the MLB Network.
The summary: there were about 20 scouts watching Sheets. He started a bit erratically, hitting 88-90 on the gun and sometimes missing his spots, but then got comfortable and started humming it in more consistently, topping out at 91. After a second round including some breaking pitches, a scout told Kusnierek that Sheets looked good: “Good mechanics. Great shape. Is way ahead of where he’d be velocity wise at [the beginning of a] normal spring.”
That sound you hear is about a half dozen teams calling Sheets’ agent offering him something like $8 million plus incentives or options or whatever.
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.