Ross Detwiler on track to return from strained oblique next week

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Ross Detwiler has been sidelined since May 15 with a strained right oblique muscle, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Nationals’ starting rotation.

Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com was told by Nationals manager Davey Johnson today that Detwiler is set to make a minor league rehab start Saturday with High-A Potomac. As long as the southpaw doesn’t have any setbacks, it should put him in position to return from the disabled list next week, either on Thursday against the Rockies or Friday against the Indians.

Detwiler, 27, has a 2.76 ERA and 23/10 K/BB ratio in 45 2/3 innings across eight starts this season. Nathan Karns is currently filling his spot in the rotation and could stick around until Stephen Strasburg is ready to return from a lat strain.

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.