O's Koji Uehara expects to begin season on DL

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Koji Uehara headshot.jpgKoji Uehara, currently grounded by a left hamstring strain suffered on March 18, told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com (though his interpreter) that he expects to begin the season on the disabled list:

 “If it happens,
there’s nothing I can do about it,” Koji said through interpreter Jiwon
Bang. “Obviously
we don’t have many days before [April 6’s] Opening Day, so you kind of
expect
it.”

Uehara, who turns 35 in April, was 2-4 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 12 starts with the Orioles last season, but didn’t make an another appearance after June 12 because of a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. While he was a starter in his first year stateside, manager Dave Trembley has designs on using him out of the bullpen this season. The sample size was limited, but the raw numbers in his brief sneak preview last season suggest that he would do pretty well as a reliever. We’ll probably have to wait to find out.

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.