Yankees claim 1B Travis Ishikawa from Orioles

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Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Yankees have claimed first baseman Travis Ishikawa off waivers from the Orioles. Kevin Youkilis (back) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list in a corresponding move to clear a 40-man roster spot.

Ishikawa will meet up with the Yankees on Monday in New York and could see semi-regular action at first base, where Lyle Overbay and his .714 OPS (93 OPS+) have been starting. Ishikawa was batting .316/.413/.525 with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 49 games this season at Triple-A Norfolk before the O’s called him up on June 18. He was designated for assignment on June 29.

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.