Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Willson Contreras will likely not be in the bigs long . . . yet


Yesterday we learned that the Cubs were going to call up top prospect catcher Willson Contreras today. It’s something of an odd move in that, despite the fact Contreras is tearing up the peapatch down in Iowa, the Cubs have two catchers and thus playing time for Contreras might be hard to find.

Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune reports, however, that this is just to get Contereas’ feet wet. To acclimate him to life in the bigs now so that when he does come up for good and is expected to be a contributor, he won’t need an orientation, as it were.

Not a bad idea. And, as Gonzalez notes, this is exactly what the Cubs did with Kyle Schwarber last year. Which worked out pretty darn well.

J.D. Martinez to be sidelined 4-6 weeks


Last night we learned that Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez suffered a non-displaced fracture of the radial neck at the right elbow after he collided with the right field wall. This morning we learned how long the Tigers will be without him: 4-6 weeks.

This is a big blow for Detroit, as Martinez has been a big part of their offense for the past three season. This year he’s hitting .287/.359/.522 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI. It’s an even bigger blow given that Cameron Maybin has missed time lately, depleting the outfield even further.

The Tigers have called up Stephen Moya, who will likely be the regular in right while Martinez is sidelined, with Andrew Romine — who took over right last night — likely seeing some time there too.

Justin Turner, Yasmani Grandal had a heated argument in the Dodgers dugout


Some teammate-on-teammate acrimony occurred in Los Angeles last night as the Dodgers fell to the Brewers. The teammates: Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal.

It was spurred by a play in the sixth inning. With one out and runners on the corners — Grandal on first — Turner lifted a fly ball to left field. It was deep enough to score the runner from third. Ryan Braun realized that he could not get the runner coming home, but he had a chance to double up Grandal, who had tagged and broken from first to second.

The problem: the play on Grandal happened almost simultaneously with the runner from third touching home plate. In that situation it matters because if Grandal is called out for out number three before the runner crosses home, the run does not count. It was so close that it went to replay review:

Close, but it was held that the runner crossed home first, which meant that it counted, allowing the Dodgers to tie the game. That wasn’t the ended of it, though.

Back in the dugout, Turner and Grandal got into it, with Turner yelling at Grandal about making that play so close that it almost cost the team a run. It got so heated that Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick had to separate the two, who then took their dispute to the clubhouse tunnel. Later manager Dave Roberts was seen talking to Grandal. Roberts said that he told Grandal that, in that situation, you have to stop in the basepath to make sure the runner from third has time to cross the plate.

Turner told reporters after the game that the dispute is over. As he noted, it’s a long season and sometimes coworkers get miffed at each other.

True, but it’ll be curious to watch the Dodgers in the short term. In the past, with Don Mattingly, it definitely seemed like acrimony festered for a while in the Dodgers clubhouse. Dave Roberts has quickly built a reputation of being a guy who helps keep things light and easy. As the season — which has been less-than-ideal for Los Angeles — wears on, his ability to do that will be tested.