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MLB fines Ariel Prieto, Diamondbacks over Apple Watch

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Yesterday it was reported that Major League Baseball was investigating Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto for wearing an Apple Watch in the dugout during Wednesday night’s Wild Card Game against the Rockies. The Dbacks said yesterday that Prieto inadvertently wore the watch and that it was not used for any nefarious or sign-stealing purposes. He just wears that kind of watch and neglected to take it off before game time.

The good news: MLB believes the Dbacks.

The bad news: They and Prieto are getting fined anyway. The statement from MLB:

Major League Baseball has completed its inquiry into the matter of the watch worn by Arizona Diamondbacks coach/interpreter Ariel Prieto in the dugout during the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday night at Chase Field.  The inquiry was conducted by MLB’s Department of Investigations, and the findings were submitted to Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.

MLB forensically examined Mr. Prieto’s Apple Watch and his cell phone and interviewed Mr. Prieto.  MLB found no evidence that Mr. Prieto used the Apple Watch or cell phone for any purpose in the dugout, nor any baseball-related communication on either device, during Wednesday’s game. 

Despite these findings, Mr. Prieto violated MLB’s on-field regulation by having this device in the dugout.  As a result, Mr. Prieto and the D-backs have each been fined an undisclosed amount.  The amount of the fines will in turn be donated by the Office of the Commissioner to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

So that’s that.

Phillies pause Jerad Eickhoff’s rehab

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Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.

Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.

Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.

Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.