Report: Mariners “discussing” Erik Bedard with Cardinals

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Apparently not satisfied with adding Edwin Jackson to the rotation the Cardinals are reportedly talking to the Mariners about acquiring Erik Bedard.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com the two sides are “discussing” a deal and “the ball is in the Cardinals’ court.”

St. Louis has a full rotation with Jackson joining Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, and Kyle Lohse, although Westbrook has a 4.86 ERA that ranks 56th among the 62 National League pitchers with at least 100 innings and Lohse has a 5.53 ERA in five June starts.

And presumably the asking price on Bedard is pretty reasonable at this point, especially after he failed to make it out of the second inning in Friday’s “showcase” start against the weak-hitting Rays. By trading Colby Rasmus the Cardinals made it very clear that they’re willing to sacrifice long-term value for what they perceive to be short-term improvements and picking up even more rotation depth in Bedard would fit that approach.

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%.