AFL To Try Speed-Up
The Arizona Fall League is underway. Six rosters are comprised of young prospects from the 30 big league organizations. Season ends November 15.
Phillies minor leaguers assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions (East Division) are pitchers Adam Morgan, Colton Murray, Ryan O’Sullivan, Nefi Ogando and Ethan Stewart; catcher Logan Moore and centerfielder Roman Quinn. Lehigh Valley’s pitching coach, Ray Burris, will be in the same capacity with Scottsdale.
New this year are several experiments that come from the Pace of Game Committee, headed by John Schuerholz of the Braves.
Batter’s box rule: Hitter required to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout at-bat unless there is foul ball, wild pitch or passed ball — or if a pitch forces him out or the umpire grants “time.”
No-pitch intentional walks
20-second rule: 20-second clock will be posted in each dugout, behind home plate and in outfield to prevent pitchers from taking too much time in games at Salt River Fields only.
2:05 inning-break clock: Maximum time allowed between innings, and batters must be in box at 1:45 mark or umpire can call automatic strike. If pitcher throws pitch after 2:05, umpire may call ball.
2:30 pitching-change-break clock: Maximum amount of time allowed for pitching change.
Three “timeout” limit: Teams limited to three trips to the mound by managers, coaches and catchers during game, except pitching changes. The rule will be in effect even if a game goes extra innings.
The average time of nine-inning games in the major leagues was a record 3 hours, 2 minutes this year, up from 2:33 in 1981.
Missing is time-saving efforts on replay reviews but such technology isn’t available in the AFL. Personally, it is a waste of time to have a manager meander out to an umpire, look back at the dugout for a signal to request a review and then depart awaiting the review or empty-handed. It would seem to me there is a correlation between the record time of game set this year and the fact reviews were in play for the first time this season.
Taking a break
Phillies Insider is going on the temporary inactive roster. Not the disabled list and certainly
not a paternity leave. Next post: Oct. 23.