Reds activate Jim Edmonds and Mike Leake from the disabled list. Sort of.

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According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, the Reds activated both Jim Edmonds and Mike Leake from the disabled list today. Just don’t look for them to play prominent roles down the stretch.

Earlier this week, we thought that Edmonds’ career could be over after he revealed that he has a torn oblique muscle. That hasn’t changed, really. In fact, the news that he was being activated surprised both Edmonds and Reds manager Dusty Baker.

“I really wasn’t expecting to come off today,” Edmonds said. “[Walt
Jocketty] told me and that’s a good thing. Nobody wants to be on the DL
anyways. I’m here if it’s needed.”

“I was surprised myself,” Baker said. “Walt informed me. I saw him
moving around pretty good in the outfield. I haven’t seen him hit. So
far he’s been hitting off the tee.”

As for Leake, he was shut down two weeks ago due to right shoulder fatigue. That hasn’t changed, either, but Baker believes he can still help in other areas. 

“Leake will fit in to pinch-hit, pinch-run, pinch-bunt. Pinch
everything,” Baker said. “He told me two months ago if I needed an
emergency outfielder, he could do that too. That’s a real emergency.
He’s not ready to pitch. He wasn’t supposed to pick up a ball for two
weeks.”

I’m skeptical that Edmonds will contribute in any significant way, but the addition of Leake shouldn’t be overlooked. The 22-year-old rookie is batting .340 (16-for-47) with six sacrifices this season. I wish I could remember who brought it up first, but Leake actually has a higher VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) as a hitter than he does as a pitcher this season.

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.