Ryan Sweeney, who’s been playing at Triple-A since signing a minor-league deal with the Cubs this offseason, is on his way back to the majors.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that the Cubs are expected to call up Sweeney and demote Dave Sappelt to Triple-A. Sweeney hit .337 with six homers and a 1.022 OPS in 23 games at Triple-A, but is a career .280 hitter with a .715 OPS in 535 games as a big leaguer.
He can get on base and play all three outfield spots, and the Cubs figure to give Sweeney most of his action against right-handed pitching. Sweeney spent last season in Boston and the Red Sox acquired him shortly after now-Cubs president Theo Epstein stepped down as their general manager.
Danny Picard of Boston Metro reports that, during Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday, a man claiming to be an Astros employee was removed by security. The man was in the media-credentialed area next to the Red Sox dugout but he did not have media credentials. He was, however, using a small camera and texting frequently. When the man was taken away from the area, an Astros staffer tried to intervene, saying he was authorized to be in the area. Security did not buy the story, so the man was not allowed to return to that area but was allowed to remain in the ballpark.
This wasn’t the first time security had been made aware of the man. Apparently the same man had been up to some shady business during the ALDS against the Indians as well, which means the Astros may have been cheating throughout the postseason.
Representatives from all three teams have thus far opted not to comment on the matter. MLB chief communciations officer Pat Courtney said in an email on Tuesday, “We are aware of the matter and it will be handled internally.”
Teams, especially nowadays, are paranoid in the postseason about sign-stealing, so they’re always doing their due diligence to make sure their signs are secure. Sign-stealing is part of the gamesmanship of baseball. Players and coaches are, obviously, allowed to use their eyes, ears, and mouths to communicate about opposing teams’ signs. They’re not allowed to use any kind of technology, including cameras and cell phones. If the allegations are substantiated, the Astros’ recent and upcoming accomplishments may be looked at with a raised eyebrow.