J.C. Romero went down in a heap after throwing a pitch in the ninth inning last night and today the Phillies placed him on the disabled list with a strained right calf.
Romero’s overall numbers are usually ugly because he struggles so much against right-handed hitters and often can’t find the strike zone, but he’s very effective when limited to facing left-handed hitters. He held lefties to a .174 batting average from 2008-2010.
To replace Romero on the roster and in the bullpen the Phillies have called up fellow southpaw reliever Mike Zagurski from Triple-A, where he has a 2.92 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 65 career innings. Zagurski is 28 years old and has struggled in previous big-league stints, but his track record in the minors suggests he’s capable of doing well in a middle relief role.
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.