Evan Longoria hoping to come off disabled list by April 29

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Evan Longoria hasn’t been cleared to take swings against live pitching yet, but the Rays third baseman told Bill Chastain of MLB.com that he expects to return from a strained oblique muscle by April 29.

He has quite a few hurdles to clear (and setbacks to avoid) before then, but Longoria is slated to take “dry swings” today for the first time and hopes to begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Double-A or Triple-A early next week.

Longoria told Chastain that he’s “itching to do more” and “hopefully I’ll be hitting off the tee, doing flips, and possibly by the end of the Toronto series, hitting on the field.” He’s been out since the second game of the season and was eligible to return from the disabled list yesterday.

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.