Sorry I’m a little late with this; had to go to the dentist yesterday morning. For those of you who don’t do that regularly, well, you know the drill…
Baseball America put out its first transaction post in three weeks, from which we’ve learned the Nats have made some minor-league signs:
- RHP Carl Edwards
- RHP Reed Garrett
- RHP Jordan Weems
- UT Dondrei Hubbard
- IF Jaylen Smith
Pretty standard stuff here – filling out the AA/AAA rosters with the pitchers while the two position players (both from the Indys) appear to be gap-fillers for Hi- and Lo-A.
As noted in the comments, the Big Nats also made their non-roster invites public, including the three pitchers above and the following watchlisters:
- RHPs Cade Cavalli, Jackson Rutledge
- LHP Matt Cronin
- C’s Drew Millas, Israel Pineda
- SS Jackson Cluff
With the shortened/accelerated spring training this year (16G vs 28G in ’21), I’m not sure it’s wise to read anything into who’s been invited and who hasn’t. About the only thing I’m sure of is that we’ll see too little of our guys and too much of Gerardo Parra.
2022 EXPERIMENTAL RULES
With the new CBA allowing for faster rule changes, the minors and partner leagues will once again serve as guinea pigs in 2022. Basically, at all four full-season levels there will be a pitch clock and it will be enforced and the larger bases used in AAA and the Atlantic League will be rolled out across the board, along with the two-pickoff-per-PA rule.
By all accounts, the pitch clock did speed up games while anecdotally it appeared that the larger bases both decreased injuries and increased success rates for stolen bases, though it remains to be seen how much of the latter was the defensive “hangover effect” from 2020 (i.e., players focused on cage and bullpen work at the expense of defensive drills).
The no-shift ban (i.e., must have two IFs on either side of 2B at all times) will be tried at every level below AAA. To paraphrase the players, this is eyewash for the folks too young (or dumb) to remember the Boudreau shift. In my opinion, it also rewards players too lazy to learn how to go the other way or lay down a bunt.
The ABS system used in the Arizona Fall League and the Low-A Southeast last year will be expanded to all games in the AAA West after May 17 and in Charlotte all season long. The Low-A Southeast will also test “challenges” of ball-strike calls with the ABS system. No word on whether this will be called the Angel Hernandez system.
The Atlantic League will tweak its “double-hook” DH rule to reward pitchers who go at least five innings (less than 5IP, teams will lose the DH) while bringing back the 2019 dropped pitch rule, which allowed batters to “steal” first base on any pitch not caught in the air.
EX-MILB PLAYERS WIN RULING IN SENNE V. MLB
Last night, a federal judge issued a summary judgment in favor of the players in their lawsuit against MLB. Essentially, the judge ruled that the players were employees and thus subject to standard labor laws, including minimum wage and overtime laws in Californina and Arizona.
According to BA, that could result in penalties of ~$1.8M. Perhaps more likely: The decision will entice MLB to make a settlement, as MLB did note a pre-trial mediation conference scheduled for April 13-14 in its motions. If not, a trial before a jury is expected in June.