Alex Rodriguez limited to DH duties due to sore hamstring

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Bothered by a sore left hamstring, Alex Rodriguez will make his fourth straight start out of the DH spot this afternoon against the Red Sox. He’s nowhere close to 100 percent at the moment, as he had the chance to score the go-ahead run last night on a double by Robinson Cano, but had to pull up at third base.

As Rodriguez told David Lennon of New York Newsday, he’s taking precaution against suffering what could be a season-ending injury. And after losing Brett Gardner to an oblique strain on Thursday, that’s the last thing the Yankees need.

“I’m just trying to go where it doesn’t blow out,” Rodriguez said after Friday night’s 8-4 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. “That’s pretty much it.”

Rodriguez is expected to remain in the DH spot through the weekend, which means more of Eduardo Nunez and Mark Reynolds at third base. Reynolds is making the start at the hot corner today.

Rodriguez is batting .287/.387/.492 with six home runs and 13 RBI in 142 plate appearances since joining the Yankees on August 5.

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%.