Dan Warthen to return as Mets pitching coach

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Third base coach Chip Hale is staying with the Mets following the team’s house-cleaning and apparently pitching coach Dan Warthen will be sticking around too.

Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that “Warthen says he’s been asked by Sandy Alderson to return next year as the Mets’ pitching coach.”

Warthen replaced Rick Peterson as the Mets’ pitching coach in mid-2008. In his first two full seasons on the job the pitching staff ranked ninth and sixth in runs allowed among NL teams while calling a pitcher-friendly ballpark home.

Young starters Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese have both developed well under Warthen, but he wasn’t able to keep Oliver Perez from imploding and it’s unclear how much credit any pitching should get for the success of a knuckle-baller like R.A. Dickey.

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.