Nationals manager Davey Johnson indicated last night that Bryce Harper could get a day or two off after he hit himself in the head with his own bat and required 10 stitches above his left eye, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post passes along word that the rookie outfielder is in tonight’s lineup.
While Harper has a nasty welt and an embarrassing story to tell, he didn’t feel dazed after the incident and was cleared by a team doctor. This probably isn’t the last time his emotions will get the best of him. As a 19-year-old in the big leagues, failure and frustration is expected. But hopefully he has learned his lesson. Nationals manager Davey Johnson is a pretty good tutor for the assignment.
Harper went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts last night and is hitting .233/.333/.373 with six doubles, three RBI, a stolen base and a .705 OPS over his first 51 plate appearances in the big leagues.
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.