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Mike Trout, Tommy La Stella wear No. 45 to honor Tyler Skaggs at All-Star Game

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Per the Angels, All-Stars Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella will honor late teammate Tyler Skaggs by wearing No. 45 during tonight’s All-Star Game. Trout normally wears No. 27 while La Stella wears No. 9.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room on July 1. He was 27 and would have turned 28 years old on Saturday.

Patrick Corbin, a former teammate of Skaggs’ in the Angels’ minor league system and as members of the Diamondbacks, also wore No. 45 during a start against the Marlins. The Rangers, hosting the Angels at the time of the tragedy, helped pay respects to Skaggs with a moment of silence at Globe Life Park. The stadium did not play music before at-bats or during warm-ups. The No. 45 was spray-painted on the back slope of the pitcher’s mound as well.

There will likely be a moment of silence before tonight’s game to honor the memory of Skaggs.

Teams still don’t know if three-batter minimum rule will be in effect for 2020

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According to Athletics GM David Forst, Major League Baseball has still not informed teams whether or not the proposed three-batter-minimum rule will be in effect for the 2020 season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The league and the players’ union came to an agreement back in March regarding a handful of rule changes with the three-batter-minimum rule among them. From the way it was discussed, it seemed like it was set in stone. If Forst is unsure, then the league clearly hasn’t done a good job of communicating that.

Slusser notes that the A’s are operating as if the rule will be in effect, as the club non-tendered lefty Ryan Buchter earlier this week. Buchter has a career 2.86 ERA with 235 strikeouts in 214 innings, but the bulk of that success has come against left-handed hitters. This past season 115 of the 198 total plate appearances (58 percent) against Buchter were taken by fellow lefties. He held lefties to a .728 OPS compared to .904 against righties. As a result, despite Buchter’s overall terrific numbers, the A’s felt the roster spot could be more effectively used with a different player given the proposed rule.

Some teams may not make the same assumption as the A’s. What if a team keeps its lefty specialist(s) on the roster or goes out and acquires such a player, not knowing whether or not the rule is in effect for the upcoming season?

Since it has been brought up publicly, the issue will likely be resolved quickly and we should all have clarity on the rules for the 2020 season.