Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez initiated the fight he and teammate Kyle Crick engaged in Monday, Nubyjas Wilborn of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The altercation began when Crick declined to turn off music that was playing at his locker when Vazquez asked him to, according to Wilborn. Vazquez then threw the initial punch at Crick after challenging Crick to hit him first. Both players wound up suffering injuries – Crick had to undergo season-ending finger surgery, while Vazquez needed stitches on his nose – and incurring team-imposed fines. The Pirates docked Vazquez $10K and Crick $2,500, but Crick told Wilborn he’s filing a grievance because he was acting in self-defense. “If we were on the street, this would’ve been assault,” Crick said. “I got swung at twice before I swung back.”
As Pittsburgh nears the end of an increasingly disastrous season, let’s check in on a few other NL clubs…
- Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas has owned one of the richest contracts in the organization since he signed a six-year, $68.5MM pact out of Cuba in December 2014. Tomas hasn’t lived up to the considerable hype that accompanied the deal, though, and has spent almost the entire past two seasons at the Triple-A level as a result. As Zach Buchanan of The Athletic explains (subscription required), it doesn’t seem Tomas’ situation will change as he closes out his contract in 2020. Tomas will collect a $17MM salary no matter where he plays next year, but agent Jay Alou told Buchanan that his client is “frustrated” with his status and wants to return to the game’s highest level. That’s probably not going to happen in Arizona, however, in part because the team has concerns over Tomas’ outfield defense. Furthermore, Buchanan writes that the 28-year-old is way down the organizational pecking order at first base, leaving him without an obvious position in a league devoid of a DH. Worsening matters for Tomas, finding a trade partner for an expensive, defensively weak slugger who hasn’t produced much at the plate would be a difficult task for the Diamondbacks. Nevertheless, Alou’s surprised the D-backs haven’t gotten someone to take Tomas. “I just find it difficult there isn’t a team out there willing to pay a little bit of it,” Alou said of his contract.
- Nationals first baseman Matt Adams left the team’s game Thursday with a tweaked triceps, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post tweets. The Nationals should know more on Adams’ status Friday. Should Adams miss time, Washington would be without half of its typical first base platoon (Ryan Zimmerman’s the other member). While Adams has provided the Nats’ offense with 20 home runs, he has nonetheless hit just .226/.278/.475 through 320 plate appearances.
- Standout Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson had been set to play in the Arizona Fall League this year, but that plan has changed, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told Mark Saxon of The Athletic. The soon-to-be 21-year-old outfielder will instead stay in his native California to “work on adding strength,” Saxon writes, as Mozeliak doesn’t think there’s anything more for Carlson to accomplish on the field this season. Carlson, who tore up Double-A and Triple-A this year, could be on the fast track to a major league promotion in early 2020.