Royals fire Trey Hillman minutes after victory

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Just minutes after the Royals beat the Indians this afternoon for Zack Greinke’s first win of the season, the team fired manager Trey Hillman.
General manager Dayton Moore struggled to get the words out and appeared to have some tears upon making the announcement during a press conference that’s going on as I type this. Ned Yost will replace Hillman, who went 152-207 in three years on the job.
Obviously the writing has been on the wall for Hillman and it’s tough to argue that he deserved to keep the job, but Moore is actually responsible for building the roster full of veteran mediocrity.
UPDATE: To his credit, when asked if he “let Hillman down” Moore replied: “I look at myself, first and foremost. The failure of this baseball team is predicated on the decisions that I ultimately make in the short term and long term.”
UPDATE #2: Hillman is speaking to the media now. He answered several questions about today’s game first, which was weird, and said he was thankful to go out on a winning note for Greinke. Very poised and classy press conference for Hillman, in general.
UPDATE #3: Hillman revealed that he was told about the firing before the game. “Dayton is first class. He gave me the option this morning.”

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%.