Baseball to put a stop to the Yankees' mound meetings — in the offseason

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Sunday night’s game will be remembered for the Damon steal, but until that happened the most memorable thing was just how many times Jorge Posada and CC Sabathia met on the mound to discuss the weather or their favorite Pavement album or whatever else it was they were talking about.  Couldn’t have been baseball. I mean, after the tenth or eleventh meeting, they pretty much had covered it all, no?

I guess I’m not the only one who was annoyed by that, as it seems Major League Baseball is going to “discuss” the issue in the offseason:

Posada and pals visited pitcher CC Sabathia eight times–in a single inning–on Sunday night, grinding Game 4 of the World Series to a standstill. Agitated Phillies fans booed each trip.

MLB vice president of umpiring Mike Port said frequent mound meetings by all teams would likely be discussed by baseball officials this offseason.

“It would fall under the province of pace of game,” Port said before the Yankees beat Philadelphia 7-4 to take a 3-1 Series lead.

Not sure what there is to discuss, and there’s certainly no need for some new rule. In order for a catcher to go out to the mound to talk to the pitcher, he has to call time and the ump has to grant it.  If the pace of the game is suffering because of too many visits, the umpire should tell the catcher “sorry Charlie, but if you go out there, the clock is still tickin’ and if that pitch doesn’t come soon, I’m calling a ball for delay of game.”

Of course, that would mean that the umps would have to start calling balls for delay of game in the first place, and they almost never do that.

UPDATEJason at the excellent IIATMS blog talks a bit about why there may have been so many mound visits.  Given the conspiracy theorist behind it all is Larry Bowa, you may want to take all of it with a grain of salt.

Athletics place Sean Manaea on disabled list with a left shoulder strain

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The Athletics placed left-hander Sean Manaea on the 10-day disabled list with a shoulder strain, according to a team announcement on Sunday. The move is retroactive to April 27, when Manaea was lifted from his last start after experiencing shoulder tightness. Manager Bob Melvin told reporters that he only expects Manea to miss one start during his stint on the DL, as the team is planning to utilize right-hander Sonny Gray in his place on Tuesday.

Manaea, 25, has yet to find his footing in his sophomore season with the Athletics. Over five starts, including his abbreviated outing against the Angels last Wednesday, the left-hander carries a 5.18 ERA, 3.28 FIP and 10.0 SO/9 through 24 1/3 innings. Even when healthy, control issues have spoiled some of his more dominant outings, doubling his walk rate per nine innings from the 2.2 BB/9 mark he posted during his rookie season in 2016.

With Manaea due back in the rotation by May 7, the A’s will eventually need to clear roster space to accommodate him. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that the decision could come down to right-handers Jesse Hahn and Jharel Cotton, though the team is still several days away from any formal announcement. Cotton has looked like two wildly different pitchers over his last five starts, tossing two-hit shutouts on his good days and getting shelled with 5-6 runs on his bad days. Hahn, meanwhile, has been a steadier presence in Oakland’s rotation, and his 2.08 ERA and eight-inning shutout should keep him in the majors a while longer, especially if he can replicate those results against the Astros on Sunday.

Noah Syndergaard refused an MRI for his sore biceps

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Mets’ right-hander Noah Syndergaard will take the hill on Sunday afternoon, just three days after he was scratched from a start due to right biceps tendinitis and shoulder discomfort. Syndergaard told reporters that he refused recommended medical testing on his arm because he felt “ready to go” after taking anti-inflammation medication and tossing a bullpen session on Friday. “I think I know my body best,” the right-hander said. “I’m pretty in tune with my body, and that’s exactly why I refused to take the MRI.”

It’s an unusual decision for a pitcher who has already succumbed to several serious arm issues, some as recent as last season, but as club GM Sandy Alderson told the New York Times’ James Wagner, the Mets aren’t in a position to force the issue.

This is a tense time for the Mets, whose lineup has been fraught with injuries of nearly every variety, from Yoenis Cespedes‘ hamstring issue to Steven Matz‘s elbow inflammation and David Wright‘s cervical disc herniation. Syndergaard’s setback last week didn’t appear too serious, but it would make sense for the team to take things slowly with their best still-healthy hurler. Instead, they’ll push forward on Sunday against the Nationals and hope that Syndergaard’s read on his biceps issue is an accurate one.

The 24-year-old righty is 1-1 through his first four starts of 2017 with a 1.73 ERA, 0.0 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 in 26 innings. He’s scheduled to make his first start against the Nationals on Sunday at 1:35 PM ET.