Mat Latos got rocked for seven runs last night against Cleveland, serving up three homers in four innings, and afterward the Reds right-hander said he thinks the Indians were stealing his signs from catcher Ryan Hanigan.
Here’s what Latos told Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
I thought I made some good pitches that they spit on, with a runner on second base. … When you go back and look at video, a couple runners on second base, they put better swings on the ball than they did most of the time without a runner on second base.
Latos went on to say that Shin-Soo Choo clearly looking for a breaking ball after they changed signs “shows me a little something.” However, he repeatedly blamed himself for leaving pitches up in the zone and in accusing the Indians of stealing signs Latos didn’t actually blame them for doing so, calling it “kind of the idea” and “that’s the way baseball goes, and it is what it is.”
And while stolen signs might have contributed to Latos allowing three homers it’s worth noting that prior to last night he’d served up 13 homers in 76 innings, including five at home against the Rockies on May 27. He’s also struggled all season overall, posting a career-worst 5.20 ERA after the Reds acquired him in a blockbuster deal with the Padres.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.