Tyler Colvin remains in stable condition at a Miami hospital after his chest was punctured by a broken bat yesterday and released a statement this afternoon updating his status:
I want to thank Cubs fans for their support all season, especially right now, and let everyone know that I’m doing OK. I also want to thank everyone who has helped take care of me here in Miami–the Cubs and Marlins training and medical staffs, the EMTs at the ballpark, and everyone here at the hospital.
You never want to have a season end early, and I’m disappointed that I’m not going to be able to make it through the finish line with the rest of my teammates. That being said, I couldn’t be more thankful for the Cubs organization, my teammates and the opportunity to play for Cubs fans my rookie season. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Colvin needed a chest tube to prevent a collapsed lung and is expected to spend several more days in the hospital, but luckily seems to have avoided a very serious injury by a matter of inches. He finishes his rookie season hitting .254/.316/.500 with 20 homers in 394 plate appearances.
I was curious about which MLB teams changed their fortunes the most this season compared to last year, so I crunched the numbers.
First, here are the biggest win total improvements from 2014 to 2015:
+10 Blue Jays
The top five teams on the biggest-improvement list all had managers in their first season on the job, led by Joe Maddon joining the Cubs after tons of success with the Rays. Also worth noting: Of the nine teams with the biggest win total improvement, eight made the playoffs. Only the Twins improved to double-digit games and still failed to make the playoffs.
Now, here are the biggest win total declines from 2014 to 2015:
Not surprisingly, a whole lot of those teams have changed managers, general managers, or both. And a couple more may still do so before the offseason gets underway. Oakland retained manager Bob Melvin despite an MLB-high 20-win dropoff and just promoted Billy Beane from general manager to vice president of baseball operations.
According to STATS, INC., the average game in 2015 was 2 hours, 56 minutes. That’s six minutes faster than games in 2014.
The gains came in the first half, when games averaged 2:53. Second half games averaged three hours even. One can probably thank the expanded rosters in September for that, as games then see many more pitching changes. Of course, it’s likely that second half games were faster in 2015 than 2014 as well given the rules changes.
Those changes: agreement to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box and the installation of clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks in ever ballpark.
It remains to be seen if MLB stays satisfied with that modest improvement or if chooses to go the way Triple-A and Double-A leagues did. They installed 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with balls and strikes. Triple-A’s two leagues, the International and Pacific Leagues, saw game-time decreases by 13 and 16 minutes, respectively.