Michael Bourn misses second straight game with wrist sprain

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Michael Bourn is out of the lineup for the second straight night as he continues to rest a right wrist sprain, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Bourn suffered the injury on a slide into second base on Tuesday. X-rays came back negative and it’s not believed to be serious, but Hoynes writes that the speedy center fielder will be limited to pinch-running duties tonight. The Indians will try to push him tomorrow to see if he’s ready to return to the lineup.

Bourn, who signed a four-year, $48 million deal with Cleveland during the winter, is batting .260/.314/.355 with six home runs, 48 RBI, and 23 stolen bases over 128 games this season. The Indians will open play tonight one game ahead of the Rangers for the second Wild Card in the American League.

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%.