The Mets and Dodgers are locked in an unusual feud, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. New York contacted Major League Baseball on Friday after finding out that Los Angeles wanted to mark prearranged defensive positions in the Citi Field outfield, according to Rosenthal. The league is cognizant of the fact that the Dodgers used a laser rangefinder before the game to mark positions, but that’s only a violation of MLB rules if it’s done during the game. Further, given that the Dodgers actually informed the Mets’ grounds crew of their plans, there wasn’t any subterfuge on LA’s part. Nevertheless, the grounds crew notified their superiors after the Dodgers told them their outfielders would dig holes in the grass with their cleats if the markers were taken out, leading to this battle between the two sides.
The Dodgers, by the way, evened the teams’ three-game weekend series Saturday in a 9-1 rout. Notably, the game featured third-inning ejections of Mets starter Noah Syndergaard and manager Terry Collins after the ace threw behind LA second baseman Chase Utley. A hated rival thanks to both his time with the division-rival Phillies and, more recently, his slide that broke the leg of then-Met Ruben Tejada in last year’s NLDS, Utley went on to belt two homers and drive in five runs.
More from around the majors:
- Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has struck out in a career-worst 23.4 percent of plate appearances this year, which concerns the five-time All-Star. “I’m a guy that has a good feel for the zone, and when I get good pitches to hit, normally I hit them. But more times than not lately, I’ve been getting them and I’ve been missing them,” he said (via Dave Sessions of MLB.com). “I’m getting to two strikes more and having to battle. When I’m on and I’m feeling good, I get a pitch to hit, I hit it.” As McCutchen mentioned, he has been missing more pitches this year – his swinging strike and contact rates (13.3 percent and 72.2 percent, respectively) are easily at personal-worst levels. It’s no surprise, then, that McCutchen’s numbers have declined this season, though his production (.258/.341/.463 line with nine home runs in 214 PAs) is still well above average.
- Right-hander Tim Lincecum is on track to make his Angels debut June 12 against Cleveland, reports Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times. The two-time Cy Young Award winner threw 75 pitches in an extended spring training game Saturday and regularly clocked in at 89 mph with his fastball – up from 87 mph last season. “Now that my velo’s just a couple ticks up from where it was last year, I feel like that can make a huge difference,” said Lincecum, who admitted that he’s “not going to blow the doors off” opposing hitters. Lincecum regularly did that during his heyday with the Giants, but his velocity decreased over the years and his numbers declined significantly.
- Indians left fielder Michael Brantley went on the disabled list nearly two weeks ago with shoulder inflammation, but there’s currently no timetable for his return, according to The Associated Press. Brantley missed most of April after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery and then appeared in a mere 11 games before heading back on the DL. Brantley said Saturday that he doesn’t think he rushed his previous return. “I was ready. We talked about it. We had a great process laid out. Everything went smoothly. It was just a bump in the road.”
- In his latest mock draft (Insider required), ESPN’s Keith Law has the Phillies taking Florida left-hander A.J. Puk first overall. Puk is one of five realistic possibilities for the club, per Law, who notes that the majority of scouts and executives he spoke to this week acknowledged there’s still plenty of uncertainty in general going into next month’s draft.