Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com reports that the Nationals are expected to call up outfield prospect Michael Taylor to the big leagues. He is expected to be with the team in time for their evening series finale in Atlanta against the Braves. The Nationals have seen two of their outfielders — Jayson Werth and Steven Souza — suffer recent injuries.
Taylor, 23, started the season at Double-A Harrisburg — his first taste of that level of competition — and posted fantastic results, slashing .313/.396/.539 with 22 home runs, 63 RBI, and 35 stolen bases. Taylor made his Triple-A debut with the Syracuse Chiefs on Monday. In four games, he has five hits (including three doubles and a triple) with a pair of RBI and a stolen base.
It’s not clear yet what roster move the Nationals will make to create room for Taylor, but it could involve a DL stint for either or both of Werth and Souza.
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.