Phillies reliever Austin Davis had his pitching notes confiscated by umpire Joe West in the eighth inning of the team's 7-1 loss to the Cubs on Saturday after he pulled a card out of his back pocket while on the mound. West then came to the mound and took the card from Davis.
First-year Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters that other Phillies outfielders and infielders use similar sheets, adding that Arizona Diamondbacks veteran pitcher Zack Greinke does so, too.
In the eighth inning West noticed Davis pulled a card out of his pocket to review a scouting report on Addison Russell, the upcoming batter, and confiscated it under Major League Baseball rule 6.02 (c)(7), which says pitchers may not have "on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance". Kapler, a huge proponent of analytics who introduced the cards to the Phillies players this season, came out to argue with West for several minutes.
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"I saw him take it out and I went, 'What the heck is that?"' West said.
"This caught us off guard", West said after the game, according to The Athletic's Meghan Montemurro. "That I don't know". Maybe he's trying to get an advantage because he's reading the scouting report, but it wasn't pine tar, it wasn't an emery board, it wasn't whatever. Right now, my hands are tied until they say yes or no. That's overkill. But does he have the right to carry it?
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Davis said of his scouting report card, "This is something that I create. And if I have an answer to get a guy out, I want to know what that is".
The Philadelphia manager thinks having pitchers carry information cards will be good for the game. "I don't really quite understand (the confiscation)".
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