A little comparison…
Corner outfielders on the NL All-Star team
Center fielders on the NL All-Star team
So, of course the league today named Andre Ethier the replacement for the injured Shane Victorino on the NL squad. Because what the team really needed was a sixth right fielder, while Andrew McCutchen gets left out again.
To review, McCutchen is hitting .291/.389/.491 with 12 homers and 48 RBI this year while playing a very good center field. Ethier is hitting .313/.382/.451 with seven homers and 42 RBI while playing a pretty poor right field.
Ethier was the better hitter in previous years, but after factoring in defense and baserunning, McCutchen rated as the superior player even before lapping Ethier this season.
Anyway, I don’t want to come off as wholly anti-Ethier here. It’s just that McCutchen was deserving a spot on the team when it was originally announced, he was deserving of being included in the Final Vote and he certainly makes a whole lot more sense than Ethier now given the composition of the squad.
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.