Sandy Alderson hired to 'reform' MLB's office in Dominican Republic

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ESPN.com’s Jorge Arangure reports that former A’s general manager and MLB vice president of baseball operations Sandy Alderson has been hired to “reform the league’s Dominican Republic office.”
According to Arangure the job’s focus will be “further preventing age and identity fraud and performance-enhancing drug use” among the prospects who can begin signing with big-league teams at age 16. Here’s a bit more from the story:

Alderson is a well-respected former baseball executive with the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres with almost 25 years of travels to the Dominican. He worked as the executive vice president for baseball operations for MLB from 1998-2005.

In that role, Alderson helped to establish MLB’s Dominican office, and also developed the structure for the investigative process that MLB uses to verify the age and identity of players signed from Latin America.

Getting hired to “reform” the operation that you helped set up in the first place is pretty interesting.

Pitch clock cut minor league games by 25 minutes to 2:38

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NEW YORK — Use of pitch clocks cut the average time of minor league games by 25 minutes this year, a reduction Major League Baseball hopes is replicated when the devices are installed in the big leagues next season.

The average time of minor league games dropped to 2 hours, 38 minutes in the season that ended Wednesday, according to the commissioner’s office. That was down from 3:03 during the 2021 season.

Clocks at Triple-A were set at 14 seconds with no runners on base and 19 with runners. At lower levels, the clocks were at 18 seconds with runners.

Big league nine-inning games are averaging 3:04 this season.

MLB announced on Sept. 9 that clocks will be introduced in the major leagues next year at 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners, a decision opposed by the players’ association.

Pitchers are penalized a ball for violating the clock. In the minors, violations decreased from an average of 1.73 per game in the second week to 0.41 in week 24.

There will be a limit of two pickoff attempts or stepoffs per plate appearance, a rule that also was part of the minor league experiment this season. A third pickoff throw that is not successful would result in a balk.

Stolen bases increased to an average of 2.81 per game from 2.23 in the minors this year and the success rate rose to 78% from 68%.

Many offensive measurements were relatively stable: runs per team per game increased to 5.13 from 5.11 and batting average to .249 from .247.

Plate appearances resulting in home runs dropped to 2.7% from 2.8%, strikeouts declined to 24.4% from 25.4% and walks rose to 10.5% from 10.2%. Hit batters remained at 1.6%.