The Associated Press is reporting that Major League Baseball has suggested, as part of its pace-of-game proposal, that a runner be put on second base to start the 11th inning and each additional inning in the All-Star Game in order to speed up the game. This proposed rule would be used in the 10th inning and later during spring training games as well and no spring training games would go beyond 10 innings.
The MLBPA isn’t expected to oppose the rule as it helps reduce player injuries in games that don’t count.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has made pace of play something of a pet cause and has said that he will implement changes with or without agreement with the players’ union. Other suggested changes have included a pitch clock and a limit on mound visits.
This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.
The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.
As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.