After weighing a similar offer from the Rockies left-hander Mark Hendrickson has decided to re-sign with the Orioles on a minor-league contract, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
Hendrickson spent the past two seasons in Baltimore, making 12 starts and 93 relief appearances while posting a 4.74 ERA and 116/53 K/BB ratio in 180 innings. He’ll compete for a middle relief gig and the 37-year-old will receive $900,000 if he makes the team out of spring training.
Hendrickson has a 5.28 ERA in 166 career starts, but the 6-foot-9 southpaw who spent a few seasons in the NBA has generally done a solid job in the bullpen with a 3.97 ERA in 154 relief outings and is effective as a left-handed specialist.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.