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Twins in no rush to promote Jose Berrios


Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios had an uninspiring debut last season, posting an 8.02 ERA with an equally ugly 49/35 K/BB ratio in 58 1/3 innings across 14 starts last season. But the 22-year-old has been utterly dominant at Triple-A Rochester so far this season, compiling a minuscule 1.13 ERA with a markedly better 39/8 K/BB ratio in 39 2/3 innings spanning six starts.

As Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports, however, the Twins are in no rush to promote Berrios to the majors. Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said, “I think Jose’s done a really nice job. Clearly he’s performed. We feel he’s taking steps in the right direction.”

Berardino notes that if the Twins wait until June 27 to promote Berrios, the team will be able to control him for another year. That means he won’t become eligible for free agency until after the 2023 season assuming he stays in the majors for good after his next promotion.

The Twins, of course, are not breaking any new ground by manipulating a player’s service time. Hopefully, though, the practice comes to an end the next time the owners and players’ union negotiate the next collective bargaining agreement. As it stands now, teams are incentivized to keep their best players in the minors, which is bad for all involved, except the journeyman pitchers like Nick Tepesch who wind up getting extra starts. The fans are deprived of seeing one of their favorite players, the player himself has his earning potential artificially depressed, and the team isn’t able to put its best 25-man roster together.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.