The Associated Press is reporting that Major League Baseball has suggested, as part of its pace-of-game proposal, that a runner be put on second base to start the 11th inning and each additional inning in the All-Star Game in order to speed up the game. This proposed rule would be used in the 10th inning and later during spring training games as well and no spring training games would go beyond 10 innings.
The MLBPA isn’t expected to oppose the rule as it helps reduce player injuries in games that don’t count.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has made pace of play something of a pet cause and has said that he will implement changes with or without agreement with the players’ union. Other suggested changes have included a pitch clock and a limit on mound visits.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.