CINCINNATI — Major League Baseball is investigating a pregame altercation that occurred on Friday afternoon between the Reds’ Tommy Pham and the Giants’ Joc Pederson.
Pham was scratched from Cincinnati’s lineup shortly before first pitch, with a Reds spokesperson saying he agreed to sit out pending MLB’s investigation.
“MLB is investigating the incident that occurred before the game involving Mr. Pham,” said an MLB spokesperson. “Mr. Pham agreed to not play this evening, pending the results of MLB’s investigation.”
Reds players were taking batting practice at Great American Ball Park when Pham and Pederson met out in left field. Several players intervened in the situation, and both clubs’ dugouts and bullpens emptied.
It is not yet fully known what exactly sparked the incident, but a source told MLB.com that it was rooted in a group text chat over a fantasy football league that included both players as participants.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler was asked about the confrontation during his media availability with reporters, and he said he was not prepared to discuss it.
“We’re investigating and learning as much as we can about the incident,” Kapler said. “I don’t really have much more than that for you right now. I sense that we’ll have a clearer understanding after the game.
“Still looking into it. Taking it very seriously and learning as much as we can as quickly as we can.”
In the Reds’ original lineup, Pham was batting third as the designated hitter. In their reworked order, Alejo Lopez filled in at DH.