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Jake Marisnick was in uniform limbo for AFL championship


Jake Marisnick is being sent to the Marlins in that 12-player megtrade with the Blue Jays. But the deal hasn’t been finalized, which created a minor predicament for the outfield prospect before Saturday’s AFL championship game in Scottsdale, Arizona. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo explains:

Jake Marisnick found out he was going to be able to play in Saturday’s Arizona Fall League championship game a couple of days ago. He just wasn’t sure what jersey he’d be playing in.

The outfielder, currently ranked No. 35 onMLB.com’s Top 100 Prospect list, is in organizational limbo currently, a part of the blockbuster Blue Jays-Marlins trade that awaits approval from the Commissioner’s Office. Batting ninth and playing center field for the Salt River Rafters in Saturday’s game, Marisnick wore his Blue Jays jersey, but he did have a contingency plan in case anything got finalized during the game.

“I have the [Marlins] jersey in the locker room, so we’ll see what happens,” Marisnick told Mayo before first pitch. “That’s the word right now. If it goes through, then I’ll switch jerseys. I’m definitely getting a lot of jokes about it, about what jersey I’m wearing. It’s been an interesting couple of days.”

The 21-year-old batted .249/.321/.399 with eight home runs, 29 doubles, 10 triples and 24 stolen bases in 553 plate appearances this past season between High-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire.

MLB games were six minutes shorter this year

Pitch Clock
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According to STATS, INC., the average game in 2015 was 2 hours, 56 minutes. That’s six minutes faster than games in 2014.

The gains came in the first half, when games averaged 2:53. Second half games averaged three hours even. One can probably thank the expanded rosters in September for that, as games then see many more pitching changes. Of course, it’s likely that second half games were faster in 2015 than 2014 as well given the rules changes.

Those changes: agreement to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box and the installation of clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks in ever ballpark.

It remains to be seen if MLB stays satisfied with that modest improvement or if chooses to go the way Triple-A and Double-A leagues did. They installed 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with balls and strikes. Triple-A’s two leagues, the International and Pacific Leagues, saw game-time decreases by 13 and 16 minutes, respectively.

Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

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I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.

The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.

Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”

Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.