In late February, Major League Baseball officially announced the new intentional walk rule, which allowed managers to intentionally walk an opposing batter with a signal rather than instructing his pitcher to throw four pitches wide of the strike zone. The signal wasn’t invoked much in spring training, so we had to wait until April to see it in action. Understandably, it’s going to take some getting used to.
According to Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times, Angels center fielder Mike Trout was confused by the new rule during the eighth inning of Monday night’s season opener against the Athletics. Trout had doubled to bring Pujols to the plate. With first base open, Athletics manager Bob Melvin opted to intentionally walk Pujols, so he gave the signal.
Trout said, “I called timeout, got back to the bag, and when I looked up, he was on first base. It was different. He was laughing. I was laughing. It took me a little bit to figure out what happened. But that’s the way it’s going, I guess.”
The intentional walk worked in the Athletics’ favor as, after Pujols was given first base, C.J. Cron grounded out to end the inning. The Angels went on to lose 4-2.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Mets will place outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Cespedes left Thursday’s game after suffering the injury running the bases.
Things keep going poorly for the Mets, who are in last place in the NL East with an 8-13 record. Cespedes will join a lengthy list of names in the infirmary, including David Wright, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, and Noah Syndergaard.
Cespedes is batting a very productive .270/.373/.619 with six home runs and 10 RBI through his first 75 plate appearances.
With Cespedes out, Michael Conforto should be cemented as an everyday player and Juan Lagares will handle center field with Granderson moving back to right field and Jay Bruce covering first base.