Replay choice nearly cost Cubs in St. Louis
During Sunday's tense victory in St. Louis, the Cubs had an interesting experience with video replay.
In the sixth inning, Nick Martini was out at first on a close play and seemed convinced he beat the throw. He was incorrect, though, as the Cubs used their review and the call was quickly upheld.
An inning later, there was a tough play at third base when pitcher Adam Wainwright laid down a sacrifice bunt and the runner was called safe after an errant throw. That call almost certainly would have been overturned by replay, since David Bote kept his foot on the base, but the Cubs had already used their challenge.
Manager David Ross wasn't involved in that one, since he was ejected early in the game. When asked about handling situations like that, when the player is convinced replay will be successful, Ross said he always defers to Brad Mills, the team's assistant director of run prevention.
"I trust in Millsy. I trust in the group in here (the clubhouse)," Ross said. "They work extremely hard. I put my trust in that and I don't second-guess it at all. If there's something where I feel like it bang-bang, or he tells me it can go either way and if it's early in the game, I probably decide not to challenge it and save that.
"But there's also that fine line of having a player's back and trusting in (first base coach Craig) Driver and those guys. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. We've got no crystal ball."
Around the horn:
According to reports, the Cubs signed veteran Dee Gordon to a minor-league contract and he's expected to report to Iowa. Gordon, now known as Dee Strange-Gordon, played a lot of second base during his 10 years in the majors, so he could be potentially provide infield depth for the Cubs.
Gordon, 32, is a career .286 hitter. He played for Seattle last season and was with both the Reds and Brewers earlier this spring, but did not appear in any games. He's also the son of former Cubs reliever Tom Gordon.
• The Cubs announced that at their next homestand, face masks will be optional in outdoor areas for fully vaccinated fans, required for non-vaccinated fans. When the Cubs return home Friday, capacity at Wrigley Field will be at 60 percent.