NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball made its call on the Chase Utley slide: out.
Major League Baseball and the players’ union have banned rolling blocks to break up potential double plays, hoping to prevent a repeat of the takeout by Utley that broke the leg of New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during last year’s playoffs.
“From my understanding, we’ve been trying to work on this for a few years now,” Utley said at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ camp, “so I don’t think one instance determined everything.”
Maybe, but fans may see it another way — the Chase Utley Rule.
Under the change announced Thursday, a runner must attempt a “bona fide slide,” defined as making contact with the ground ahead of the base, being in position to and trying to reach the base with a hand or foot, trying to remain on the base after the slide, and sliding within reach of the base without changing his path to initiate contact with a fielder.
An umpire can call both the runner and batter out for a violation. Baserunners may not elevate or kick a leg above the fielder’s knee or throw his arm or upper body.
A runner who makes a permissible slide cannot be charged with interference, even if he makes contact with a fielder.
Giants righty Matt Cain has
cyst removed from pitching arm
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain has undergone a procedure to have a cyst removed from his upper right arm.
General manager Bobby Evans made the announcement Thursday, when Cain had the cyst removed from his throwing arm by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki in San Francisco. The pitcher was scheduled to return to the team’s spring training facility in Scottsdale to rehab and is expected to resume throwing in approximately 10 days.
Cain, who had injury-shortened seasons in 2014 and ‘15 following elbow surgery and arm issues, said at the start of spring training he had corrective surgery on both eyes during the offseason.
He is slated to be in San Francisco’s rotation but manager Bruce Bochy has depth and the option of using Chris Heston if needed.
Oakland sends RHP Brooks
to Cubs for OF Coghlan
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — The Chicago Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks from the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Chris Coghlan on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Coghlan batted .250 with 25 doubles, 16 home runs and 41 RBIs in 148 games for the Cubs last season.
The 25-year-old Brooks is 3-5 with an 8.38 ERA in 58 innings during 15 big league appearances, including 10 as a starter, over the past two seasons with Kansas City and Oakland. He made 20 appearances in Triple-A last season and went 7-5 with a 3.56 ERA along with 103 strikeouts