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Willson Contreras gets two-game suspension following altercation with umpire

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Cubs’ catcher Willson Contreras has been handed a two-game suspension and a fine after a heated confrontation with home plate umpire Jordan Baker on Friday afternoon. Right-hander John Lackey has also been fined, though neither amount has been disclosed.

The altercation arose in the fifth inning of the Cubs’ 8-2 win over the Cardinals, when Baker misread a pitch to Carlos Martinez and called Ball 3 on what should have been an inning-ending strikeout. Not only did the botched call extend the at-bat, but it gave Martinez the opportunity he needed for an RBI single, handing the Cardinals a 2-1 lead as Kolten Wong scooted home. From there, things got a bit dicey:

Predictably, both Lackey and Contreras were ejected following the tiff. Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon came to his catcher’s defense in the postgame press conference, telling reporters, “There was no intent at the umpire whatsoever. He slammed [the helmet] down in anger.”

Intentional or not, arguing balls and strikes and making contact with an umpire are two pretty clear-cut no-nos. As expected, Contreras decided to appeal his suspension and will still be eligible to play in Saturday’s game against the Cardinals.

Jesús Aguilar, Brian Goodwin, and Aledmys Díaz win arbitration cases

Jesús Aguilar
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the players picked up three arbitration victories thanks to Jesús Aguilar, Brian Goodwin, and Aledmys Díaz. Each player was arbitration-eligible for the first time.

The players have now won four of 10 arbitration cases thus far. Historically, teams have won the majority of arbitration cases and that continues to be the case this year. However, at least today’s results move the needle back towards the middle.

Aguilar filed for $2.575 million while the Marlins countered at $2.325 million.

Goodwin filed for $2.2 million; the Angels $1.85 million.

Díaz $2.6 million, Astros $2 million.

There are three arbitration cases remaining, two of which belong to the Phillies (J.T. Realmuto, Héctor Neris). The Diamondbacks have the other with Archie Bradley.