Johan Santana suffers setback, will have shoulder examined

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Johan Santana’s comeback from shoulder surgery has hit a snag, with the Mets lefty complaining of soreness following his scoreless three-inning rehab start Thursday.

Santana’s next scheduled rehab outing has been canceled and he’ll instead be examined by doctors later this week.

Had he avoided any setbacks Santana appeared to be on track to potentially rejoin the Mets’ rotation by mid-August, but that seems highly unlikely now even if the examine reveals no major problems.

There’s zero reason for the Mets to rush him back, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they simply decided to make 2012 the new goal rather than messing around with a few September starts. Santana is owed $55 million over the next two seasons, so Thursday’s trip to the doctor is a big one.

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%.