Not only did the Phillies call up Grady Sizemore from Triple-A, he’s starting in center field and leading off in his Philadelphia debut tonight.
Philadelphia’s usual center fielder and leadoff man, Ben Revere, is out of the starting lineup for the second straight game because of an ankle injury.
Sizemore made a dozen starts in center field for the Red Sox before they released him last month, but played primarily the corner spots and also hit just .187 in his final 42 games.
Signed to a minor-league deal by the Phillies, he batted .283 with one homer and a .723 OPS in 11 games at Triple-A to convince them he was ready to return to the majors. And now they’re throwing him right into the fire.
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.