Anthony Rizzo should have been called for interference on his controversial slide into home plate Monday, Major League Baseball has determined.
ESPN and MLB.com reported that the Cubs and Pirates had both been informed of the league’s take on the slide, which was deemed legal by the umpires on the field and video review during Monday’s game.
The play occurred with the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth inning on a ball hit by Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez. Pirates shortstop Sean Rodriguez threw home to force out Rizzo, who was at least 15 feet up the line when Elias Diaz caught the ball and dragged his foot across the plate. But Rizzo slid on the infield side and hooked Diaz’s legs, prompting the catcher’s throw to first base to sail into right field and allowing two runs to score.
There is precedent for this move, as the Kansas City Royals did the exact same thing with TCU’s Brandon Finnegan in 2015, allowing Finnegan to be the first player to ever pitch in the College World Series and Major League World Series in the same year. While that is certainly one path teams could take with Singer, others could go a more traditional route and give the righty a few years in the minors before calling him up.
Whatever course he ends up on, Singer will not remain on the board long, as most believe he will not make it past the tenth pick.
The 20-year-old rookie left Atlanta’s game Sunday against the Red Sox with a leg injury that the Braves’ initial report described as knee and lower-back pain.
The injury occurred while Acuna was attempting to beat out a ground ball to shortstop in the top of the seventh inning. He extended his leg toward first base and landed awkwardly before falling. Acuna was credited with an infield single on the play.
With three more games against the Reds, then a three-time-zone trip to Los Angeles for four against the Dodgers before returning to Chicago — without any days off — will test the mettle of the whole team, not just the bullpen. It won’t be a surprise if the Cubs can only play .500 baseball during this stretch, but one place they can get some help from is their starting rotation. Outside of Jon Lester, and a recent run by Mike Montgomery, the rotation has been iffy.
When our starter can go six, it really helps, Maddon said.
Hendricks failed the sixth-inning test in a big way Thursday, leaving Rosario with a mess he could not clean up. A solid turn or two from Chicago’s starting staff could take a ton of pressure off some green relievers while giving needed rest to Cishek and Strop.