As MLive.com’s James Schmehl details, Tigers catcher James McCann suspects Royals outfielder Alex Rios is stealing signs. Rios was hit by a Bruce Rondon pitch in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game at Kauffman Stadium. He advanced to second base when Rondon walked Infante.
McCann then went to visit Rondon on the mound and stared Rios down, to make him aware that he was being watched in the event he was stealing signs.
“Was he doing it? I have my suspicions,” McCann said. “No one will ever know except for him. But I do know he wasn’t able to relay them beyond that trip to the mound.”
“I just stared at him. Not knowing if he was really doing it or not,” said McCann, who didn’t directly accuse Rios of stealing signs. “But my job is to make sure it didn’t continue if it was happening.”
Rondon wound up getting the next two outs without issue, getting the save for the Tigers.
McCann was in the news a week ago for a dust-up with teammate Jose Iglesias. He felt Iglesias gave up too soon on a ground ball.
MLB’s Statcast is pretty cool. Tracking technology, basically, that gathers and displays stats for aspects of the game that had previously gone unmeasured. Or at least unmeasured on a consistent and comprehensive basis. Statcast collects the data using high-resolution cameras along and radar equipment and tracks the location and movements of the ball and every player on the field at any given time.
One of the most relatable and familiar stats compiled is pitch velocity. We’ve know how fast guys throw for decades thanks to radar, but now it’s all being complied in a more orderly fashion than it had previously. So we have a leader board now, kept by the good folks at MLB.com. Here are the names of the pitchers with the current fastest pitches in the game:
Oh, sorry. Chapman skews it a bit. Let’s give the next couple of dozen:
Hmm. This is sort of a problem. Luckily, MLB has solved it with a little filter on the leader board:
Maybe that’s been there since they launched the thing, but I don’t spend a lot of time on Statcast leaderboards so it was just brought to my attention today. If you press that button you get Bruce Rondon and Ken Giles as your leaders, each with a single pitch of 101.7 m.p.h.
Which is good, I guess, if you’re not Aroldis Chapman. For him that’s a day when he’s suffering from flu-like symptoms, I imagine.
Via Jason Beck, the Tigers beat writer for MLB.com …
Rondon came down with some biceps tendinitis at the end of spring training and also battled some neck discomfort in early March. Neither are serious injuries, but the hard-throwing reliever is on his way back from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and was unable to pitch on back-to-back days this spring. The hope is that he’ll be ready to join the Tigers’ bullpen next week. This disabled list stint is retroactive to March 28.