Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez had to be scratched from Monday’s series opener against the Athletics due to soreness in his back and side and he is also sitting out on Tuesday night in Detroit.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Monday that Martinez “didn’t want to come out” of the lineup and that the reason he was scratched was because “we can’t lose Vic for an extended period.” So these back-to-back absences could be precautionary.
Martinez has enjoyed a sudden career resurgence this season at the age of 35, batting .323/.384/.589 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 78 games. He hit .301/.355/.430 in 159 games last year. J.D. Martinez is at cleanup for the Tigers on Tuesday.
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.