Phillies sign Reid Brignac

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Philadelphia has signed one-time top prospect turned journeyman Reid Brignac to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, reports Jim Salisburg of CSNPhilly.com.

Brignac was a second-round draft pick in 2004 and ranked among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, but he’s now 27 years old with a lifetime .221 batting average and .573 OPS in 302 games as a big leaguer.

On the other hand Brignac is a solid defensive shortstop and second baseman, so the Phillies could give him a long look as a utility man.

(As an aside: I know a guy who pitched 10 seasons in the minors for a few different organizations. He once told me that Brignac was the best player he played against. Moral of the story? Baseball is friggin hard, man.)

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%.