Gardenhire: Francisco Liriano likely done for the season

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According to beat writer John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire informed the media on Sunday afternoon that left-handed starter Francisco Liriano is not likely to return to a major league mound this season.

Liriano was placed on the disabled list in late August with a shoulder strain. A visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum this weekend went smoothly and an MRI taken last week ruled out structural damage, but the Twins don’t seem keen on rushing back the 27-year-old southpaw to what has become a lost campaign.

Liriano posted a 4.84 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 24 starts this year for Minnesota, striking out 109 batters and walking 73 in 132 total innings. He is eligible for arbitration this winter and stands to earn a significant raise over the $4.3 million salary that he collected in 2011 despite the underwhelming results.

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%.