The Braves may bring Omar Infante back

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UPDATE:  Buster Olney says that a lot of teams have called the Marlins about Infante and that, at the moment, no one is really close, including Atlanta. Upshot: the Marlins may hang on to their All-Star.

8:50 AM: Hey, if you have a chance to add a former All-Star at the deadline, you take it, right? Don’t look at me like that. Omar Infante was an All-Star last year. You can look it up.

Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are talking to the Marlins about that very thing.  And given that the Feesh are in Atlanta finishing up a series today, they may not even have to pay for a flight.

While the Braves are still looking to acquire an outfield bat a la B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn or Carlos Quentin, Infante could be a nice fallback option who could help the Braves get through their current outfield depth problems brought on by injuries to Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth. Most likely in taking over third base and allowing Martin Prado to move back to left field.  Although it’s worth noting that Infante has played the same number of games in the outfield –101 — than he has played at third.

On the season Infante is hitting a paltry .264/.312/.328.  But did I mention that he was an All-Star?

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%.