Soon the Phillies will have a stat-head

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Remember last month when general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phillies were thinking about hiring a statistical analyst to help the front office? Well, today he told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that they’ve almost settled on someone.

According to Zolecki the MLB commissioner’s office has aided the Phillies in their search, which is interesting.

And of course hiring a stat-head won’t mean much unless the Phillies a) hire a good stat-head, and b) actually listen to him or at least give him a strong voice in decision-making. Based on Amaro’s initial comments about the topic last month the latter seems unlikely, but Phillies fans can hope.

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.