What’s the matter, Alex? Butthurt? Oh, wait, I guess you are:
The optimistic outlook, if you prefer that one, is the Royals expect Gordon to avoid a stint on the disabled list. Initial signs for a possible concussion provided encouraging news, but tests will continue through the end of the week. As for the hip injury, Royals manager Ned Yost said Gordon suffered a “substantial butt bruise.”
Gordon left the game on Wednesday when he smacked his head into the outfield wall trying to chase down Jason Kipnis’ inside-the-park homer. There were concussion fears, obviously, but it sounds like he’s doing OK so far. Well, except for that part about his butt. That’s a real pain the …
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.