Associated Press

Chris Archer suspended only five games, Puig gets two for Sunday’s brawl

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Major League Baseball just announced the discipline from Sunday’s Reds-Pirates brawl:

  • Chris Archer has received a five-game suspension and an undisclosed fine “for intentionally throwing a pitch” at Derek Dietrich of the Reds;
  • Yasiel Puig has received a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine “for his aggressive actions” during the incident;
  • Reds manager David Bell has received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine “for his aggressive actions” during the incident.

Archer can appeal his suspension and has yet to decide if he will. So can Puig, but he chose not to and will begin serving it tonight. Bell cannot appeal as managers do not have the right to do so, so he’ll sit out tonight’s game as well.

As we wrote on Sunday, it was plainly obvious that Archer was intentionally throwing at Derek Dietrich of the Reds in retaliation for admiring an earlier home run. As we also wrote, in anticipation of this sort of penalty, it’s laughable that he’s only getting a five-game suspension given that he’s a starting pitcher who only pitches once every five days and, even then, can have a start pushed back a day to essentially miss no time.

Which is to say that, with this discipline, Major League Baseball is saying it’s perfectly OK to throw at someone. Seems like a horrible message to send, especially to a group of pitchers who are throwing harder than anyone has ever thrown before. The light discipline is also saying that MLB’s “Let them Play” marketing campaign — in which bat flips, showmanship and attitude are portrayed as good things to be encouraged — is a bunch of baloney. If someone, like Dietrich, admires a homer, someone like Archer can make him pay for it with near impunity, thereby bolstering the stodgy and humorless old school rules that “Let them Play” was aimed to remedy.

Which is to say: this is weak as hell.

 

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.