Tony La Russa takes responsibility for bullpen mix-up

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Tony La Russa tried to explain the bullpen phone mix-up following last night’s loss and failed miserably, seemingly throwing his bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist under the bus. Fortunately he sung a decidedly different tune in his comments to the press this afternoon at Busch Stadium.

According to the Associated Press, La Russa took full responsibility for the mix-up and said that he told Lilliquist “10 times” that it wasn’t his fault. He also shed a bit more light on how the miscommunication may have happened in the first place.

While La Russa reiterated that he called the bullpen twice to get Jason Motte ready, he admitted that during the first call, he might have mentioned Motte’s name after Lilliquist had already hung up the phone.

Plausible? I suppose. It works for a pretty good excuse, if anything. But it’s just as plausible to say that he was simply unprepared for the inning to get to Mike Napoli. Since nobody heard him, we’ll probably never know for sure.

Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette broke his hand

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The Athletic’s Robert Murray reports that Blue Jays prized shortstop prospect Bo Bichette suffered a broken left hand after being hit by a pitch in last night’s Buffalo Bisons game. He will seek a second opinion on the diagnosis, but it sure does sound like he’ll be out for a while.

Bichette has not gotten the kind of ink fellow prospect and fellow MLB legacy Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has received, but he came into the 2019 season as, roughly, a top-10 MLB prospect. On the young season so far he was hitting .250/.310/.404 with one home run, but in parts of four minor league seasons he’s hit .325/.382/.516 and was Minor League Baseball’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2017.