Four days ago, when the Nationals signed Greg Dobbs to a minor league deal, Nats GM Mike Rizzo said this about him:
“We’re going to see where he’s at, as far as ready to play. He hasn’t played in a long time. We’re going to see where he’s at, and how close he is to playing in the big leagues, and we’ll take it from there . . . we really haven’t made any decisions about when, where and why what we’re going to do with him.”
Guess they’ve made up their mind, because they just purchased his contract from Syracuse, putting him on the big league roster.
Dobbs has hit hit.254/.299 /.361 in 568 games since 2009. The Marlins released him after 13 plate appearances this year. So whatever it was the Nats saw in him over the past four days was likely pretty compelling. One hopes.
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.