Owners likely to decide on expanded playoff timing this week

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The owners are meeting in Arizona this week. It’s the last scheduled owners meeting between now and March 1. That’s significant because March 1 is the date by which it is to be decided whether the new expanded playoff system — an extra wild card in each league — will go into effect in 2012 or 2013. Sports Business Journal thinks that decision will be made this week, even if it’s not announced for a bit.

It’ll be interesting to see what they do, because there’s a clear tradeoff of money vs. convenience here. Obviously everyone wants the new playoff game sooner because it will mean dollars and excitement and a means of capitalizing on last year’s crazy last night. The problem, though, is the schedule is already made and it’s really hard to see how they’ll squeeze it in. As it is, Game 7 of the World Series would be on November 1.

My guess, based on nothing but gut: the owners will ask themselves why they should put off until next year what can be done this year and they’ll just fine a way to shoehorn the wild card games in.

Chad Kuhl underwent elbow surgery

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Per Todd Tomczyk, the Pirates’ director of sports medicine, starter Chad Kuhl underwent right elbow surgery on Wednesday, MLB.com’s Adam Berry reports. The Pirates should provide more details about the nature of the surgery and Kuhl’s timetable soon.

Kuhl, 26, has been out of action since late June with a strained right forearm. He had been on a throwing program but experienced a setback earlier this month.

This season, Kuhl made 16 starts, putting up a 4.55 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 33 walks across 85 innings.