Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that Major League Baseball wants a 30-second time limit for managers to decide whether or not to challenge an umpire’s call. Whether it will be a hard limit or a guideline, strongly encouraged from above, is not yet clear.
As Stark notes, the total time the average replay review takes has been going down year-by-year. The decision about whether to challenge or not, however, has been lagging, with each team employing a dedicated reply guy who calls to the manager when he thinks a call should be challenged.
I’ve still never seen a compelling explanation of why the decision to review a play should be the subject of a manager’s challenge. Doing so turned replay into a matter of gamesmanship and strategy and has led to things like the replay review to see if a guy’s hand came off the bag for a milisecond as he slid. An impartial umpire in the booth, aware that such things have been allowed by umpire discretion for 150 years, would ignore it. In the hands of an interested party of course such imperfections will be exploited.
I suppose that’s another conversation, however.
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.