Be honest, you forgot Derrek Lee was on the Pirates. It’s a forgivable offense, as he only appeared in five games with his new team before being placed on the disabled list last month with a fractured left wrist.
Anyway, Lee is back in the lineup for the Pirates this afternoon gainst the Cubs and just drove in a run with a single in the top of the first inning.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has advocated bringing Lee back next season, but it will be interesting to see what happens with him this offseason. Increasingly injury-prone, the 35-year-old first baseman entered played today with a .255/.330/.425 batting line and a .755 OPS since the start of the 2010 season. Lee was fortunate enough to get a one-year, $7.25 million contract with the Orioles last winter, but with MLB general managers beginning to shy away from aging veteran sluggers, he’ll be lucky if he gets half that in his next deal.
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%.