Ernesto Frieri was plenty dominant with the Padres, throwing 108 innings with a 2.33 ERA and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings, but what the reliever has done since being traded to the Angels is just silly.
Frieri, who was acquired from San Diego for prospects Alexi Amarista and Donn Roach on May 3, has thrown 12 innings with a 0.00 ERA. But wait, there’s more. He’s faced 47 batters and has yet to allow a hit while striking out 25 of them.
His control has been spotty with 10 walks, but opponents are batting .000 with a .261 on-base percentage and a .000 slugging percentage off Frieri. And a bullpen that was once a weakness for the Angels is now a strength, playing a big part in the team’s dramatic turnaround.
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.