Joe Torre: MLB learned of Aroldis Chapman incident late Monday.

NASHVILLE — On a practical level, the question of when the Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, and others learned that pitcher Aroldis Chapman was involved in a domestic violence complaint in October is moot. We are where we are, and the Dodgers are reportedly unsure of whether to trade for Chapman now that he’s under investigation by MLB:

Still, the issue of whether the Dodgers would trade for a pitcher knowing he allegedly choked a woman and fired off a gun in his home is a touchy one. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman declined to say when he learned of the allegations against Chapman, which were first reported by Yahoo.com Monday night. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is currently under investigation for an incident that might fall under the league’s domestic violence policy, too.

Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre said that the league learned of the incident around the same time the public became aware Monday night.

“We did not get that information until late yesterday,” Torre said. “That’s the first we heard about it. And obviously it happened, you know, much earlier than that. So it takes time to gather information, and the same thing with the José Reyes (incident, which is also being investigated by MLB). We want to make sure we have all the information and then the decision will be made. The only timetable is when we feel we’ve got as much information as we can get.”

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NLDS Game 2: Chase Utley and the Dodgers slide into New York with a win.

The Dodgers evened their National League Division Series with a 5-2 win over the New York Mets before a sold-out crowd on Saturday night. Dodger Stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley, who is retiring after the season, might have played her final rendition of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” but that’s not what you will remember about the seventh inning.

The game turned on a take-out slide at second base by Chase Utley that fractured Ruben Tejada‘s right fibula. The Dodgers scored one run on that play and three more after it. The half-inning ended about 33 minutes after it began. The sequence had the feel of Joe Kelly hitting Hanley Ramirez in the ribs to begin the 2013 National League Championship Series, in terms of its potential impact. Utley spoke to reporters after the game. So did the Mets, and they were pissed.

The photo gallery is here. The box score is here.

Zack Greinke pitched a dogged seven innings, writes columnist Mark Whicker.

A couple morning-after thoughts.
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MLB clarifies rule 7.13, and Don Mattingly appreciates it.

MLB executive and former Dodgers manager Joe Torre sent an email Tuesday clarifying how Rule 7.13 (restricting catchers from blocking home plate) would be applied.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been an outspoken advocate for clarifying the controversial rule. Here’s what he had to say about the email today:

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Daily Distractions: Dodgers to sign Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena, per reports.

The Dodgers are reportedly close to signing 23-year-old Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena.

Here’s what we know about the latest Cuban defector:

According to ESPN Deportes, Arruebarruena is a “defensive artist” who batted .320 in 2011-12 and .293 last season. Arruebarruena played for Cuba in the most recent World Baseball Classic. He went 6 for 16 (.375) with a stolen base in six games. Here’s a clip of his two-run single against Brazil.

Since Arruebarruena has six years’ experience in Cuba, the Dodgers aren’t limited by the spending restrictions placed on international amateurs. ESPN reported that most scouts believe Arruebarruena is capable of winning a Gold Glove but don’t consider him an “offensive force” in the majors. BaseballAmerica.com recently offered this scouting report:

At 6 feet, 195 pounds, Arruebarruena has clean hands, quick actions and good body control. He’s a below-average runner, but his quick first step and instincts give him good range. He has a quick transfer and a plus-plus arm with accuracy, which allows him to make throws from deep in the hole and turn 4-6-3 double plays with ease. His awareness in the field is advanced and he’s shown the ability to make the barehanded play look routine and make strong throws from different angles.

The video above certainly confirms the “clean hands.”

Knowing nothing else, Arruebarruena could be a valuable complement to offensive-minded shortstop Hanley Ramirez, if his defense is as good as advertised. But without any sterling offensive evaluations to point to, it’s not clear if Arruebarruena is major-league ready. It will be interesting to see what kind of a contract he commands.

Arruebarruena established residence in Haiti and displayed his talents for teams in the Dominican Republic.

His name is admittedly difficult to pronounce.

 

If it seems like the Dodgers practically have their choice of Cuban defectors, well, maybe they do.

Some bullet points for a Wednesday:
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Daily Distractions: IBWAA announces its end-of-season awards finalists.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu (center) was honored at an awards gala in Korea yesterday. Lots of awards these days. (Photo by Jun Park/Asia Society)


The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America was founded here, in the awards capital of the world, so naturally the IBWAA gives out awards at the end of the season. This year there are “finalists” too, just like the BBWAA has “finalists” who really represent the top vote-getters in each category.

The IBWAA has more categories, and more Dodgers, than the BBWAA awards. Clayton Kershaw (National League Cy Young), Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu (NL rookie of the year), Don Mattingly (NL manager of the year), and Kenley Jansen (best NL reliever) are all in the running for the virtual awards.

Jose Fernandez and Adam Wainwright are the other Cy Young finalists, same as the BBWAA awards. Fernandez is the other rookie of the year finalist. Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel are the other finalists for best reliever. Fredi Gonzalez and Clint Hurdle are other manager of the year finalists, (same as the BBWAA.

Winners will be announced as follows:

Relief Pitcher, Friday, November 8, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
Rookie, Monday, November 11, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
Manager, Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
Cy Young, Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
MVP, Thursday, November 14, 2013, 11:00 a.m. PST.
Some bullet points for a Thursday afternoon:

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