Troy Tulowitzki insists he wasn’t pointing the finger at Madison Bumgarner for doctoring the baseball Friday night.
“I wasn’t accusing him at all,” the Colorado Rockies shortstop told CSNBayArea.com. “I have too much respect for him to do something like that. I didn’t think they were cheating.”
During his team’s tilt against the San Francisco Giants, Tulowitzki said he spotted a black mark on the ball as Bumgarner gripped it and asked umpire Tim McClelland to check it out. McClelland inspected the ball and tossed it in favour of a fresh one.
“You respect the game and there’s something on the baseball, so let’s get rid of it and move on,” Tulowitzki said. “You respect guys who compete. I have respect for him and hopefully he has the same for me.”
Bumgarner was seen saying something to Tulowitzki, but insists it wasn’t malicious.
“I was just confused at the runner on first base asking for the ball to be checked,” Bumgarner said.
If Bumgarner was cheating it certainly didn’t help. He gave up nine runs, seven earned, in 4 2/3 innings of work. The Giants lost the game 10-9.
NO SPACE FOR VILLANUEVA
Former Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Carlos Villanueva will soon find himself in a familiar spot: The bullpen.
The right-hander left the Jays as a free agent in the off-season in pursuit of a job as a starting pitcher – something Toronto was unable to guarantee him.
Villanueva thought he found a home with the Chicago Cubs, signing a two-year, $10 million contract.
According to CSNChicago.com, Chicago’s Matt Garza is set to make his season debut Tuesday, and Villanueva is the odd man out of the rotation. Garza suffered a strained left lat muscle in spring training and hasn’t started since July 21 of last year.
“I’m just happy I don’t have to go rehab again,” said Garza. “This actually means something. I can’t wait. It’s been 10 months in the making.”
Villanueva has a 1-3 record in eight starts this season with a 3.93 ERA.
BAD NEWS FOR BRAVES
Eric O’Flaherty likely won’t pitch for the Atlanta Braves again this season.
The left-hander was put on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow.
"Obviously, you're hoping it's just a sprain and a short DL stint, and you get him back fairly quickly," Braves GM Frank Wren told MLB.com. "But it doesn't look like that's going to be the case."
The 28-year-old O’Flaherty has struggled in May, giving up three earned runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. The Braves weren’t concerned about his elbow before this week.
"He's had some tenderness, but not anything abnormal," Wren said. "But last night (Friday), after he threw, and actually, after we all left – I got a call leaving last night, I was halfway home – that he came back in after starting to do his postgame workout, that he had some abnormal soreness."
O’Flaherty will visit Dr. James Andrews to see if he requires Tommy John surgery.
The St. Louis Cardinals will place starting pitcher Jaime Garcia on the 15-day DL with left shoulder pain ... The New York Yankees acquired Reid Brignac from the Rockies in exchange for cash considerations, according to CBS Sports ... The Los Angeles Angels claimed Chris Nelson off waivers from the Yankees, according to the Los Angeles Times ... Miami Marlins reliever Jon Rauch has been designated for assignment.