Reds right-hander Mat Latos had an odd outing Sunday: he allowed five homers but no other hits or walks in 7 1/3 innings in defeating the Rockies.
Carlos Gonzalez hit two of the five homers off Latos, with Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler also taking him deep. Fowler’s homer in the eighth knocked him out of the game in the eighth.
After Jose Arredondo walked the only hitter he faced, Aroldis Chapman got five outs for the save in the Reds’ 7-5 win.
There were nine homers hit in all at Great American Ball Park. Rockies starter Jamie Moyer allowed the other four. He surrendered all seven Reds runs and took the loss.
It was the first time this year that nine homers were hit in a game. The last time it happened was Sept. 10, 2011, also in a contest between the Reds and Rockies.
Latos surely missed his old digs in San Diego today. He’s now given up 10 homers in six home starts this season. Still, he’s gone 3-1 with a 4.10 ERA in Cincinnati. He’s given up just one homer in four road starts, yet he has a 5.40 ERA in those games.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.