The discipline has been handed down for the Dodgers-Diamondbacks melee on Tuesday night. Twelve different people were disciplined with eight being handed suspensions. The breakdown:
- Ian Kennedy gets a ten-game suspension;
- Eric Hinske gets a five-game suspension;
- J.P. Howell and Skip Schumaker each get two-game suspensions;
- Ronald Belisario gets a one-game suspension;
- Dodgers coach Mark McGwire was suspended two games;
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson were each suspended for one;
- Fines in undisclosed amounts were handed out to Zack Greinke, Yasiel Puig, Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra;
- The Dodgers were fined as a team for allowing players on the disabled list — Josh Beckett and Chris Capuano — to go out onto the field during the fight. How they, as a team, were supposed to stop them when their managers and coaches were all out there fighting too I have no idea.
Kinda surprising that Greinke didn’t get any time off for clearly throwing at Miguel Montero, but I suppose the powers that be figure him being plunked was enough.
As for the others: We live in a world where throwing a fastball at someone’s head makes you miss one start, in all likelihood. Two at most. We also live in aw world where the managers who preside over the beanball wars get a slap on the wrist. That doesn’t seem right to me. Managers set the tone for their team and players feel obligated to engage in these battles lest they fall out of favor with their managers. The penalties should be greater.
The managers and coaches will begin serving their suspensions immediately. Players have a right to appeal. If they do, they will not be suspended until the appeal is heard.
Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.
Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:
The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a FanGraphs.com metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.
In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.
This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.
Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.
Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:
We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP