The only thing that gives me pause about Jason Heyward’s career prospects is the sneaking sense that he’s going to be injury prone. He had a nagging sore knee at the end of the year. And, of course, he had the ligament issue in his thumb in the middle of the season that probably cost him the Rookie of the Year award.
The thumb was more serious, and Heyward says he’s swinging a bat pain-free. Still, it’s not perfect:
“I don’t have any pain in it, but I still don’t have the full range of motion in it. I still can’t bend it anywhere close to where it was before. I don’t know if I ever will be able to do that. But I know it’s not holding me back from hitting.”
It’s probably nothing. How much does one really move their thumb when hitting anyway? But I worry that he’s going to have nagging injuries. And no, this is not backed up with any empirical evidence whatsoever. This is a 100% emotional reaction.
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.