Dioner Navarro ejected on Friday; suspension looming?

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Dioner Navarro headshot.jpgDioner Navarro was ejected during the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the Blue Jays for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Dan Bellino. After Bellino gave him the ol’ heave-ho, Navarro gave him a nice little bump with his chest protector. MLB won’t like that.

After the game, Navarro told Bill Chastain of MLB.com that he simply lost his head.

“[Bellino] had a good strike zone tonight,” Navarro said. “I just lost it at that moment and tried to make my point, and I think I said the wrong word, and he rung me up.

“After he threw me out, I just lost my temper. I’ve got to keep calm, and I’ve got to know better than that. It was my fault, and we’ll see what happens.”

Whether he bumped Bellino on purpose or not — and it certainly appeared that he did — a suspension would put the already short-handed Rays in a temporary bind. Rookie John Jaso would be pushed to the starting role for a couple days, while utility man Sean Rodriguez would likely fill-in as the backup, according to Rays manager Joe Maddon. Fun.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”