Pirates release Jose Contreras

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Pittsburgh has released Jose Contreras from Triple-A.

This is actually the second time the Pirates have released Contreras from his minor-league contract. When it happened the first time back in June they re-signed him almost immediately, so the move was mostly based on avoiding some call-up language in his contract.

Presumably by releasing Contreras for a second time the Pirates are simply through with the 41-year-old veteran. However, in coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery Contreras has a 0.93 ERA and 24/5 K/BB ratio in 19 innings at Triple-A, so he should be able to latch on elsewhere.

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.