Reds won’t activate Aroldis Chapman until Friday or later

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The Reds don’t have an exact plan mapped out yet for the return of hard-throwing setup man Aroldis Chapman, who was eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.

According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Chapman won’t be called back to the bigs Thursday. And might not be activated Friday either.

The 23-year-old left-hander has surrendered a whopping nine hits and seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings since beginning a minor league rehab assignment last week at Triple-A Louisville. He’s displayed better command, though, and the Reds’ higher-ups believe he has made progress from a mental standpoint.

“He’s better, a lot better,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday. “He’s got to get things together mentally and emotionally.”

It might make sense to give Chapman a few more rehab appearances, but so far none have been scheduled. The Cuban defector was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 16 with inflammation in his left shoulder.

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.