Nick Markakis involved in first application of the new “Chase Utley” rule

Curtis Compton /Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP
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In February, Major League Baseball added more specific language to its official rules in an attempt to better protect middle infielders from sliding base runners attempting to break up a double play. That was a result of Chase Utley‘s slide into Ruben Tejada during the NLCS last year, which resulted in a broken leg for Tejada.

Braves outfielder Nick Markakis had the ignominious honor of being the guinea pig for the application of the new rule. Markakis was on first base with one out in the bottom of the seventhwith Hector Olivera facing Nationals starter Max Scherzer. Olivera hit what seemed like a sure-thing double play ground ball to third baseman Anthony Rendon. Rendon whipped the ball to Daniel Murphy at second base for the first out, and Murphy tried to avoid a sliding Markakis but was too late on the throw to first base. However, the Nationals got credit for the double play after Markakis was called for an illegal slide.

Markakis slid past the second base bag. The new rules say “the runner is to slide so that he is able to or at least attempt to stay on the base”. Seems like the ump got this one right.

Here’s the link to the video on MLB.com. It’s not yet embeddable so you’ll have to watch it there for the time being.

Report: Mike Clevinger agrees to 1-year deal with White Sox

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.

The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.

Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.

The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.

Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.

Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.