Twins to place Justin Morneau on the 15-day disabled list

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Twins first baseman Justin Morneau hasn’t played in a game since Monday, when he felt discomfort in his left wrist on a strikeout swing. And he’s not going to be ready to change that for at least another week.

According to the AP, via NBCSports.com, the Twins are placing the 30-year-old slugger on the 15-day disabled list due to lingering wrist soreness.

The move can be made retroactive to May 1, so he will be eligible to be activated next Tuesday.

Brian Dozier has been called up from the Triple-A level in a corresponding move.

Morneau owns a .230/.313/.459 slash line, four homers and nine RBI in 20 games this season. He’s scheduled to see wrist specialist Dr. Tom Varecka when the Twins return from their weekend series in Seattle.

No one pounds the zone anymore

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“Work fast and throw strikes” has long been the top conventional wisdom for those preaching pitching success. The “work fast” part of that has increasingly gone by the wayside, however, as pitchers take more and more time to throw pitches in an effort to max out their effort and, thus, their velocity with each pitch.

Now, as Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer reports, the “throw strikes” part of it is going out of style too:

Pitchers are throwing fewer pitches inside the strike zone than ever previously recorded . . . A decade ago, more than half of all pitches ended up in the strike zone. Today, that rate has fallen below 47 percent.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Most notable among them, Lindbergh says, being pitchers’ increasing reliance on curves, sliders and splitters as primary pitches, with said pitches not being in the zone by design. Lindbergh doesn’t mention it, but I’d guess that an increased emphasis on catchers’ framing plays a role too, with teams increasingly selecting for catchers who can turn balls that are actually out of the zone into strikes. If you have one of those beasts, why bother throwing something directly over the plate?

There is an unintended downside to all of this: a lack of action. As Lindbergh notes — and as you’ve not doubt noticed while watching games — there are more walks and strikeouts, there is more weak contact from guys chasing bad pitches and, as a result, games and at bats are going longer.

As always, such insights are interesting. As is so often the case these days, however, such insights serve as an unpleasant reminder of why the on-field product is so unsatisfying in so many ways in recent years.