A season with the Bluefish

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The tastefully named Craig Fehrman is spending a season with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League and is writing up his experiences for Deadspin.  His first entry is up today and it’s a good read.  Red Sox fans who still miss Joey Gathright’s single at bat from last season will be in for a treat, for he is back in independent ball.

I think my favorite thing, however, is the Bluefish’s GM Bob Goughan describing a weird one-game playoff his team was forced to play last season due to a hurricane as “Dadaesque.” When was the last time you ever heard of anyone in baseball call something “Dadaesque?”

Anyway, it’s a good read. As they say: Any work of art that can be understood is the product of journalism.

Teams still don’t know if three-batter minimum rule will be in effect for 2020

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According to Athletics GM David Forst, Major League Baseball has still not informed teams whether or not the proposed three-batter-minimum rule will be in effect for the 2020 season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The league and the players’ union came to an agreement back in March regarding a handful of rule changes with the three-batter-minimum rule among them. From the way it was discussed, it seemed like it was set in stone. If Forst is unsure, then the league clearly hasn’t done a good job of communicating that.

Slusser notes that the A’s are operating as if the rule will be in effect, as the club non-tendered lefty Ryan Buchter earlier this week. Buchter has a career 2.86 ERA with 235 strikeouts in 214 innings, but the bulk of that success has come against left-handed hitters. This past season 115 of the 198 total plate appearances (58 percent) against Buchter were taken by fellow lefties. He held lefties to a .728 OPS compared to .904 against righties. As a result, despite Buchter’s overall terrific numbers, the A’s felt the roster spot could be more effectively used with a different player given the proposed rule.

Some teams may not make the same assumption as the A’s. What if a team keeps its lefty specialist(s) on the roster or goes out and acquires such a player, not knowing whether or not the rule is in effect for the upcoming season?

Since it has been brought up publicly, the issue will likely be resolved quickly and we should all have clarity on the rules for the 2020 season.