Alfredo Simon is going to trial

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Orioles’ pitcher Alfredo Simon had been released from prison and allowed to come to the United States to pitch, but he’s not out of the woods in connection with the New Year’s Eve shooting death of Michael Castillo. To the contrary: he’s going to trial.

That was the determination at a preliminary hearing today.  No trial date was set, though the article suggests that it usually takes about two months between the sort of hearing that occurred today and trial.  In the meantime, Simon is free to come back to the U.S. where he will continue starting for the Orioles’ AA affiliate.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.