Colby Rasmus shut down for the rest of the season after last night’s unlucky injury

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Last night, Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus was hit in the left eye with a warm-up toss from teammate Anthony Gose before the start of the bottom of the first inning at Fenway Park. Rasmus was taken out of the game and eventually taken to the hospital. The Jays have decided to place him on the disabled list, effectively ending his 2013 season, reports MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm.

Fortunately for Rasmus, his vision wasn’t affected nor was there any structural damage to the bone around his eye.

Update (7:05 PM) via TSN’s Scott MacArthur:

Despite the unfortunate ending, Rasmus had a great 2013 season, slugging over .500 for the first time in his career and ranking among the top-five most valuable outfielders in the American League, according to FanGraphs. The 26-year-old will enter his third and final year of arbitration after taking home a $4.675 million salary this season.

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.