Brewers catcher Lucroy breaks finger, needs surgery

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Jonathan Lucroy, who is slated to be the Brewers’ starting catcher this season, suffered a broken right pinkie finger during drills Wednesday and will miss an undisclosed amount of time.

Fortunately for the Brewers, the injury happened early enough to give Lucroy a shot at being ready for the regular season, and since the injury is to his throwing hand, rather than his glove hand, he should be able to get in some work with the team’s pitchers in bullpen sessions next month. It is important that he be on the same page with newcomers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum.

Lucroy, who arrived in the majors last year with just 21 games of Triple-A experience under his belt, hit .253/.300/.329 in 277 at-bats as a rookie. He’s penciled in as the No. 8 hitter in Milwaukee’s lineup.

Lucroy’s backup last year was George Kottaras, but the Brewers brought in Wil Nieves over the winter, presumably to step into that role. If Lucroy starts off on the DL, then Kottaras and Nieves would likely share time behind the dish.

UPDATE: Lucroy will need surgery on the pinkie, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, and is expected to miss the next four weeks. His status for Opening Day is up in the air.

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.