Two mound meetings and you have to change pitchers

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That’s one of the three proposed rule changes Nico of Athletics Nation makes this morning. He’s not just talking about manager visits: catcher and infielder pow-wows would be limited too.  His reasoning on that one is that conferences in every other sport are limited by the number of time outs and natural breaks in the action at the team’s disposal, so why not baseball too?  Not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand baseball’s lack of a clock makes the time out analogy inapt. On the other, man, I hate those mound meetings.  Why not give an advantage to teams that prepare better before the game?

The other two changes make sense too.  Check ’em out.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.