UPDATE: Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Phillies have faxed Blanton’s medical records to the Orioles. No word if an agreement is actually in place, though.
12:02 PM ET: CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that the Orioles have talked to the Phillies about Joe Blanton.
No sense whether anything is imminent, but the interest makes sense given that the Orioles’ biggest problem is starting pitching. Blanton isn’t sexy — to most people anyway; some people are into guys like him — but he is solid enough, especially compared to what the Orioles are currently sporting rotation-wise.
Blanton is 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA. He has given up a lot of homers this year, but he doesn’t walk a lot of dudes and has a WHIP of 1.193 which is better than everyone in the O’s rotation.
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.