Teddy Cahill of Baseball America tells us about a new innovation in the never-ending struggle to speed up games: catcher headsets.
Just as quarterbacks never call their own plays anymore and, instead, have them radioed in to them from the sidelines, catchers rarely call their own pitches anymore and have signs relayed to them from the dugout. While it doesn’t seem to take a ton of time to get the signs, it does require the catcher to take his attention off the field and everyone to momentarily stand down. Over the course of 300 pitches in a game a catcher being able to simply set up and listen, rather than look over, is not a trivial amount of time.
Cahill explains how the technology is being tested in the college ranks. If it works, don’t be surprised if you hear about it being tested by the pros soon.
Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.
Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.
There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.
It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.
Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.
The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.