What they’re saying about the new pace of play rules

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Baseball’s new pace of play rules were officially announced on Friday. Among the changes: batters will be expected to keep one foot in the batter’s box unless one of a handful of events occur (such as swinging or bunting); a stricter timing of breaks between innings and pitching changes; and managers can issue a replay challenge from the dugout. Craig went over the changes in much greater detail here, so make sure you check that out.

With players reporting to camp, some of the various writers decided to collect some opinions on the new changes from those affected by it most. Here’s a sampling from the Nationals and Brewers, via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post and Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, respectively.

Nationals:

  • Craig Stammen, RP: “It’ll be a good thing. I don’t think it’s a big deal to speed the process up a bit instead of just jacking around wasting time.”
  • Casey Janssen, RP: “To say that a certain pitcher has to run with a certain tempo to get to the mound so he gets his allotted warm-up pitches is such a silly rule, especially if at the end of the day you want to make sure he’s loose so he doesn’t get an arm injury.”

Brewers:

  • Jonathan Lucroy, C: “It bothers me to see that because as a hitter when you rush in the game of baseball, it’s not going to work out. I like taking my time, relaxing, gathering my thoughts. This game is tough enough without being up there rushing.”
  • Kyle Lohse, SP: “I understand trying to speed up the game. I mean, I don’t like sitting through a 3-, 3½-hour game on the bench. I get on some of our younger pitchers when they take too much time in between because you should already have an idea of what you want to do.”

Giants sign Drew Smyly to one-year deal

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The Giants announced on Thursday that the club inked pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year contract. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area notes, the contract is of the major league variety.

Smyly, 30, split last season between the Rangers and Phillies with a stint with the Brewers in between. He did not appear in a major league game with the Brewers. In aggregate, Smyly posted a 6.24 ERA with 120 strikeouts and 55 walks over 114 innings.

Smyly will vie for a spot at the back of the Giants’ starting rotation. If he doesn’t make the cut, he could work out of the bullpen. Pitching in the spacious confines of Oracle Park should help Smyly, who gave up 19 homers in Texas and 13 in Philly last season in more hitter-friendly parks.