Mets demote Collin Cowgill to minors, add Andrew Brown

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Collin Cowgill was the Mets’ starting center fielder on Opening Day, but he quickly took on a lesser role and today they demoted him back to Triple-A.

In his place the Mets called up Andrew Brown, a 28-year-old journeyman who played 46 games for the Rockies last season. Brown is a corner outfielder, which means the Mets will be leaning on Jordany Valdespin and Juan Lagares in center field now that Cowgill is out of the picture.

Brown is somewhat intriguing in that he’s hit .305 with 46 homers and a .940 OPS in 260 games at Triple-A, although he’s played in extremely hitter-friendly environments and doesn’t control the strike zone very well.

Also: Insert your own joke about how the Mets didn’t need more Cowgill/cowbell, etc. after he hit just .157 in 19 games.

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.