MLB Weekly Digest Jan. 22nd Edition

The prior week in MLB was about the league presenting new ideas to improve pace of play, a franchise player gets traded to a team in the National League, and reliever receives an extension.

MLB Believes A Pitch Clock & Limiting Mound Visits Will Fix Pace of Play

Major League Baseball believes that implementing a pitch clock and limiting mound visits will shorten the duration of games by at least 10 minutes, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

However, the players’ union rejected the proposal from commissioner Rob Manfred, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Manfred has the power to enforce the new rules, but would prefer to reach an agreement the two sides and will meet with union chief Tony Clark next week.

There were many changes involving pace of play that was given to the players, and it starts with a 20-second pitch clock.

The parameters for the pitch clock rules are:

  • Clock starts when the pitcher has the ball on the mound and stops when he begins his windup or comes set.
  • If the pitcher steps off the rubber, the clock resets.
  • Hitters must be in the batter’s box five seconds after the clock starts.
  • Pitchers will receive on warming per game.
  • Second violation results in a ball being awarded to the hitter.
  • The rule would come into effect on Opening Day.

The rules for mound visits are that any visit from a manager, coach, or player to the mound, or if a pitcher leaves the mound to speak with another player, counts as a mound visit.

If there is more than one visit in the same inning, it will result in the pitcher being removed from the game.

The ideas are an excellent way to improve pace of play, but it will take some time used to, as adapting to change isn’t easy.

Pittsburgh Pirates Deal Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco Giants

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded their franchise outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 in international in bonus pool space, according to an announcement by the team.

The Pirates will also send $2.5 million to the Giants as part of the deal, since McCutchen has a $14.5 million salary in 2018, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The outfielder had a solid season for the Pirates in 2017 as he compiled a .279 batting average and .849 OPS in 156 games with 94 runs scored, 28 home runs, 88 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.

McCutchen won the National League MVP in 2013 but has slowly regressed since winning the award.

The diminished performance by him is a significant reason the Pirates didn’t get much of a return.

However, Crick is someone that help them in the future. The right-hander accumulated a 3.37 ERA during seven seasons in the minors. The Pirates have a phenomenal pitching coach in Ray Searage, who has a history of maximizing pitcher’s potential when they come to the Pirates.

The Giants continue to add veteran bats to their lineup as they acquired another franchise player in third baseman Evan Longoria from the Tampa Bay Rays earlier in the offseason.

The addition of McCutchen and Longoria should improve their ability to score runs more consistently in 2018, but they still need help in the starting rotation.

Pirates Sign Reliever Felipe Rivero to Four-Year Extension

The Pirates are in a rebuilding phase, but they’ve locked up a crucial player who will help them in the long-run.

The club has signed reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year extension worth $22 million. The deal also includes a pair of $10 million options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Rivero was a dominant reliever for the Pirates last season as he posted a 1.67 ERA in 75.1 innings (73 games) with 21 saves, 88 strikeouts, 20 walks issued, four home runs surrendered, a 2.47 FIP and a 0.88 WHIP.

If Rivero continues to perform like this over the next several seasons, the Pirates will have a bargain at the closer position.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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