Mat Latos allows three homers, thinks Indians stole signs

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Mat Latos got rocked for seven runs last night against Cleveland, serving up three homers in four innings, and afterward the Reds right-hander said he thinks the Indians were stealing his signs from catcher Ryan Hanigan.

Here’s what Latos told Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

I thought I made some good pitches that they spit on, with a runner on second base. … When you go back and look at video, a couple runners on second base, they put better swings on the ball than they did most of the time without a runner on second base.

Latos went on to say that Shin-Soo Choo clearly looking for a breaking ball after they changed signs “shows me a little something.” However, he repeatedly blamed himself for leaving pitches up in the zone and in accusing the Indians of stealing signs Latos didn’t actually blame them for doing so, calling it “kind of the idea” and “that’s the way baseball goes, and it is what it is.”

And while stolen signs might have contributed to Latos allowing three homers it’s worth noting that prior to last night he’d served up 13 homers in 76 innings, including five at home against the Rockies on May 27. He’s also struggled all season overall, posting a career-worst 5.20 ERA after the Reds acquired him in a blockbuster deal with the Padres.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.