This is odd. And potentially distracting:
The Red Sox tried to spice things up in spring training Tuesday. After each pitch, it was mandated that the JetBlue Park public address announcer would announce the ball or strike call, and the count.
Rob Bradford of WEEI talks to the guy whose idea it was, how it will work and whether there is a chance to bring it to Fenway Park.
I’m struggling to think of why such a thing is needed. Even for those who can’t tell pitch location, most people in most ballparks can either hear the umpire call a strike or see him gesture when he does it. Balls are silent and don’t come with the same motions. And of course there is the scoreboard. And of course there are audible reactions from fans on most calls, which gives you a pretty good idea of what’s going down.
Is this aimed at people who are still not tuned in to know the count despite all of that? If so, at some point, aren’t they tuned out by choice?
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.