Reds interested in extending Francisco Cordero’s contract

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Francisco Cordero’s contract has a $12 million team option or $1 million buyout for next season and general manager Walt Jocketty admitted yesterday that the Reds “are trying to determine” what their best course of action will be.

Cordero has said he’d be open to renegotiating the deal and Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds “have discussed it quite a bit” and an extension is a “possibility.”

Jocketty added that “hopefully we’ll address it before the end of the season,” so if a Cordero extension is going to happen it may take place very soon.

Aroldis Chapman would the obvious choice to replace Cordero as closer, but the Reds have indicated that they want to give him an opportunity to be a starter in 2012. Cordero has been very effective this season, converting 32 of 37 save chances with a 2.30 ERA in 63 innings, but at age 36 his strikeout rate has plummeted to a career-low 5.7 per nine innings and the idea of guaranteeing him big money for multiple seasons might be even less appealing than simply paying him $12 million in 2012.

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%.