Jon Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that MLB is “highly unlikely” to adopt a pitch clock for the 2015 season. The pitch-clock rule was being tested in the Arizona Fall League, which stipulated a pitcher had 20 seconds between pitches to get the ball back, get his sign from the catcher, and begin his delivery. Morosi says that the rule has insufficient support among Major League Baseball and the Players Association.
The starting pitchers that would have been most affected by the implementation of such a rule, using “pace” data from FanGraphs:
- David Price, Tigers: 26.6 seconds between pitches
- Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies: 26.0
- Clay Buchholz, Red Sox: 25.6
- Joel Peralta, Rays: 32.1
- Junichi Tazawa, Red Sox: 31.8
- Tony Sipp, Astros: 30.3
- Joaquin Benoit, Padres: 30.3
Some other rules will be up for consideration when MLB owners hold their quarterly meetings in Arizona, including a possible amendment to Rule 7.13, a rule stipulating that runners have to slide directly into second base in an attempt to break up double plays, and a one-foot-in-the-batter’s-box rule.
For better or worse, the Red Sox rotation has been rebuilt. Free agent Justin Masterson is returning to the team that drafted him on a one-year deal, joining Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly as Boston’s new starting corps.
USATODAY’s Bob Nightengale reports that Masterson will earn about $9 million. ESPN’s Buster Olney was the first to report the deal.
Masterson won 14 games with a 3.45 ERA for the Indians in 2013 before falling apart last year and going 7-9 with a 5.88 ERA. His velocity was down three mph right from the get-go last year, which he later admitted was due to knee problems. He expects to be healthier this season, and he purposefully sought a one-year deal in an effort to rebuild his value.
This still isn’t really an ideal group for the Red Sox. Certainly, there isn’t a guy you’d feel particularly good about leading your rotation heading into a postseason series. Still, it should be pretty solid, and the Red Sox will still have plenty of artillery to go get a Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto in July, depending on how things progress.
Andy McCullough of the K.C. Star has a story on Omar Infante, who hit a big homer on Wednesday night. He’s doing what he’s doing through a lot of shoulder pain, however, which has sapped his effectiveness for a couple of months. But he’s taking some serious painkillers now which are helping:
“I feel better, because I’m taking strong pills,” Infante said. “That’s helped me a lot. I feel it a little bit in B.P., and I still feel sore in the front of my shoulder. But yesterday I felt more comfortable.”
Specifically, he’s taking Toradol, which is a pretty controversial drug. Many teams have banned it and it’s illegal in some other countries as well. It can cause some serious side effects, including internal bleeding. As Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston wrote in early 2013, Clay Buchholz believes it’s what led to him contracting esophagitis which landed him in the ICU a couple of years ago.
But it is used because, in some cases, teams and players feel they have to use it in order to get through the grind of the 162+ game season and get players in the position to play. In this way it’s much like what every player who has ever used HGH and other banned PEDs have said about why they used them. But that’s different. Because . . . well, it’s different. Trust us on this.
From Tim Britton of the Providence Journal …
BOSTON — Clay Buchholz underwent successful surgery on the meniscus in his right knee, the Red Sox announced Tuesday. The surgery was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital by Dr. Peter Asnis.
“It’s a relatively routine procedure with a pretty quick recovery that shouldn’t affect his offseason,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters on Monday in his end-of-season press conference.
Buchholz was bothered by right knee discomfort off and on throughout 2014 and finished with a rough 5.34 ERA in 170 1/3 innings. The right-hander posted an outstanding 1.74 ERA across 108 1/3 innings in 2013.
Buchholz is owed $12M in 2015. He carries a $13M club option for 2016 and a $13.5M club option for 2017.
According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington announced today that right-hander Clay Buchholz will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Cherington said that Buchholz had “some off-and-on symptoms” during the season, but it wasn’t something that prevented him from pitching. The good news is that it’s considered a “relatively routine procedure” and he should have a normal offseason in advance of spring training.
After being limited to 16 starts last season, Buchholz managed to make 28 starts this year, but he saw his ERA jump from 1.74 to 5.34 in the process. A return to form would be big for a rotation that figures to have a new look next year.