Trevor Hoffman in hot water in Milwaukee?

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hoffman warming up.jpgBrewers manager Ken Macha suggested for the first time Wednesday that Trevor Hoffman might not be the best fit for the club’s ninth-inning role.  The suggestion, via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, came moments after the 42-year-old right-hander blew his fourth save of the regular season, leading to a 14-inning 6-5 loss to the Pirates.

“That’s two days
in a row for him,” said Macha. “Tomorrow, if we have a chance to win it, perhaps it
will be somebody else at the end.”

If Hoffman does indeed lose the job, Carlos Villanueva or LaTroy Hawkins would likely fill in.  Villanueva, 26, is a converted starter with a 0.00 ERA and 0.75 WHIP through 12 innings this season.  Hawkins is a 15-year veteran with 87 career saves.

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%.