I-Cubs Substitution Ruffles Zephyrs Manager

NEW ORLEANS – Did the Iowa Cubs use an ineligible player in Sunday's 9-1 loss to the New Orleans Zephyrs at Zephyr Field? That is what New Orleans manager Edwin Rodriguez wanted to know after Iowa manager Bobby Dickerson brought in Matt Matulia for an inning of relief.

According to Gonzalez, his concerns arose from Matulia not being listed on the Cubs' lineup card handed to umpires by Dickerson before Sunday's game.

But according to Pacific Coast League rules, even if a player is not listed anywhere on the team's lineup card, it does not in itself make that player ineligible.

"There was confusion because he was not in the lineup card," Gonzalez said. "It was my understanding that if a player is not in the lineup card, he isn't supposed to play.

"But I called the league [Monday] and they said as long as they are on the active roster, they are eligible to play."

Also at issue is when Matulia was activated from the disabled list. Prior to Sunday's game, he had not played since May 27 and was still listed on the DL on the Iowa roster that was distributed to media members and New Orleans coaches.

It is likely that roster simply had not been updated to show that Matulia had been taken off the DL. Matulia has played in only 24 games this season and has been serving as a player-coach for Iowa.

Gonzalez said his argument was that if Iowa had used an ineligible player, they would have gained an unfair competitive advantage.

"If they were trying to use a player that wasn't active, just to save an arm in the bullpen for the next two games [of the series], that would have been my main concern," Gonzalez explained.

Both managers said they had not spoken to one another about the incident before Monday's game. Neither team took batting practice after heavy rains made for wet field conditions earlier in the afternoon.

"What it is," Dickerson said, pointing to his lineup card, "this is our official lineup card. That's all you have to give the umpire. But I give the umpires [a card] with [all of the reserves] down here. All of that is a courtesy. If a player is not listed down here, in some leagues they are not allowed to be used.

"In this league, they don't have to be listed down there to be used because of all of the ups and downs and the moves that are made and the rosters that change daily. If you look at our roster, we've had probably a hundred moves this season. Matulia wasn't listed on my lineup card last night."

Again, that did not mean Matulia was ineligible.

"He is totally eligible," Dickerson said. "He's on the roster. Basically, this happens all the time. You get to a point in the game and if you don't want to use a pitcher, you use a position player. It happens in the big leagues; Jose Canseco did it. It comes down to who is an eligible player.

"As long as they're on the roster here, they are eligible players. Nobody has to be listed on the lineup sheet [to be eligible]."

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