Bud's Special Committee met for four hours yesterday

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I’d make a joke about the length of the meeting, but I’ve had barroom arguments about the DH alone that have lasted longer than that, so such lengthy discourse is to be expected.

Sadly, however, no one is talking about what the big Special Committee is up to.  Joe Torre: “Please don’t ask me anything else because I don’t want to be eliminated on the first day.”  Everyone else deferred to Selig, who said that “15-20 subjects were discussed” and that the committee had “a
lot of work to do.” Selig said, however, that the committee will
meet again in two-to-three weeks and
that at least one of the changes they were talking about would be implemented by the start of the
regular season.

My guess is that there won’t be anything Earth-shattering such as banning or expanding the DH.  Rather, it will either be about compacting the postseason schedule or some game-length tweaking such as not granting batters time outs to adjust their gloves after every single pitch or something.

Sadly, my long held dream that they’ll finally lift the ban on pepper games will likely have to wait for another year. But I accept that people just aren’t ready for it yet.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.