Only Nixon could go to China. Only Kirk could make peace with the Klingons. Only the Red Sox could cut down game times.
Well, maybe. At least Red Sox manager John Farrell has some ideas about that, including instituting a clock in between innings when pitchers are warming up and stuff. He shared that thought and some others with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM:
Those in between innings breaks matter, but as Farrell admits, pitchers — including his own Red Sox pitchers — pitch pretty slow. He talks about how to speed these guys up. We’ve not seen any results from this really, but what he has to say makes sense.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.