As the Indians wait to find out their opponent for the Wild Card game Wednesday they announced that rookie Danny Salazar will start the win-or-go-home game.
Salazar made just 10 starts during the regular season, but the 23-year-old right-hander had incredible strikeout numbers in the minors before being called up and posted a 3.12 ERA with an excellent 65/15 K/BB ratio in 52 innings for the Indians while averaging 95.9 miles per hour with his fastball.
Justin Masterson likely would have gotten the assignment if not for his having to work his way back from an injury and the Indians needed to start the more experienced Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir over the weekend to secure the playoff spot.
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.