Rockies call up Kevin Kouzmanoff after yesterday’s trade

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Colorado traded for Kevin Kouzmanoff yesterday and the initial reports had the Rockies assigning the veteran third baseman to Triple-A, where the A’s kept him stashed for the past several months, but less than 24 hours later they’ve decided to call him up.

Kouzmanoff will get a chance to play regularly at third base, where Ian Stewart is seemingly no longer in the Rockies’ plans. Stewart has been up and down between the minors and majors all season and is currently sidelined by a wrist injury at Triple-A.

Every indication is that the player to be named later going to Oakland for Kouzmanoff is a marginal prospect, so Colorado gets an inexpensive six-week look at him to determine if he’s a worthwhile option for 2012.

Even if Kouzmanoff impresses the Rockies they seem unlikely to retain him without negotiating a lower salary than the $5 million or so he’d be in line for via arbitration. Coors Field should aid his turnaround, but Kouzmanoff hit just .242 with a .666 OPS in 189 games for the A’s.

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%.