Red Sox confirm Kevin Millwood signing, make seven roster moves

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The Red Sox aren’t acting like a team that has won six in a row.

On Friday, they turned over 12 percent of their major league roster, calling up infielder Drew Sutton, activating Dan Wheeler from the disabled list and activating the newly acquired Franklin Morales.  Going to make room were right-hander Michael Bowden, left-hander Hideki Okajima and shortstop Jose Iglesias.

The team also confirmed the Kevin Millwood signing and bumped both Okajima and outfielder Daniel Nava from the 40-man roster.

The Millwood signing would stink of desperation if the Red Sox weren’t so hot.  Millwood, though, might prove useful in a park that doesn’t yield a lot of homers, and though Fenway is rightfully considered a favorable hitter’s environment, it’s not a home run park.   One can surmise that the Red Sox took note of the fact that Millwood is 4-2 with a 3.62 ERA lifetime at Fenway, a particularly strong line given that Boston was typically running out some of the league’s best lineups during his starts.

The arrival of Morales led to the departure of Okajima.  Okajima had a 4.32 ERA in seven appearances since being recalled from Triple-A, but he wasn’t working his way up the depth chart, as evidenced by the fact that he hadn’t pitched in 10 days.  Morales’ upside was too tantalizing to ignore, and Okajima could always choose to remain with the team if he clears waivers.

Nava, a fun story last year, is also about to go on waivers.  The former indy leaguer, who his a grand slam in his first major league at-bat on June 12, 2010, was batting just .192/.321/.262 with no homers in 156 at-bats for Pawtucket.

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.