Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

MLB, Rays discuss changes to quicken games

Joe Torre speaks with reporters after a meeting with Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash during Rays Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Joe Torre speaks with reporters after a meeting with Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash during Rays Spring Training at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays don't expect small changes to baseball's pace of game rules to have a big impact.

MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre met Wednesday with manager Kevin Cash to go over several planned changes, including a reduction of 20 seconds from the break between innings and a stadium clock-timed 30-second limit on visits to the mound.

"Really, no major changes whatsoever," manager Kevin Cash said. "It was a very informative, good discussion, just kind of giving us a heads-up on a couple tweaks to the thoughts on pace of game, the rule book and stuff like that."

Rays pitchers Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi said they don't see the reduction in between-innings time — from 2:25 to 2:05 for most games, 2:45 to 2:25 for national TV games — as causing them any problems, but it could be for others.

"I know a lot of guys take their time, they're not rushing, so it will be interesting to see how everybody kind of adapts to it," Odorizzi said. "I can understand the thought behind it, but 20 seconds off the already kind of quick clock is a lot of time for a lot of guys. I think it's an aggressive cut down."

The pitchers felt similarly about the mound visits having a 30-second limit, which Torre said will start when the coach or manager leaves the dugout.

There was some mock concern in the clubhouse about the change cutting down on pitching coach Jim Hickey's TV time during his visits. "I think he'll be able to use his dialogue really quickly and he can still enjoy the other 15 seconds," Odorizzi said.

There also will be a change to the rule regarding slides into second base, but Cash said it will be another 10 days or so before the wording is finalized.

Torre said he expects the players to go along with the changes since they are being made in coordination with the union.

RAIN MEN: Rain and severe weather (which led to a later tornado warning) forced the Rays to do all their work in the covered batting cages/pitching mounds facility, which Cash and players said still made for a productive, albeit shorter, day.

"It's a little different throwing in the cage and getting used to the depth perception and all that," RHP Brad Boxberger said. "But outside of that, it's a mound, and that's all you really need."

Cash noted the impressive work being done by LHP Matt Moore and RHP Matt Andriese.

The pitchers and catchers will have an abbreviated workout today then move right into live batting practice when the full squad convenes for the first time Friday.

MEDICAL MATTERS: OF Steven Souza Jr. is recovering from the intercostal muscle strain that sidelined him Sunday but is not expected to be ready to participate in Friday's first full-squad workout. Souza said he shouldn't be out much longer, but once he feels good "we're going to wait a day or two." … C Mayo Acosta and 1B/OF/DH Logan Morrison were back after being sent home sick Tuesday.

MISCELLANY: The Rays signed a 16-year-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic, RHP Daury Cordero, who already has been clocked at 92 mph and projects as a starter. … INF Logan Forsythe and Hickey are guests on tonight's "Countdown to Opening Day" radio show 7-8 on 620-AM. … Non-roster INF Juniel Querecuto was the only one of the 64 players to not report early. … Gold Glove winning CF Kevin Kiermaier is featured on the cover of the 2016 media guide.

MLB, Rays discuss changes to quicken games 02/24/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 24, 2016 9:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win

    Blogs

    RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

    De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 …

  2. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But it still turned out to be a bad idea as he allowed four runs without getting through three innings.

  4. Rays journal: Dugout bench becomes bed for Logan Morrison at end of long night

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays found creative ways to get through the physical and mental fatigue of the 6½ hours they spent playing — and ultimately winning — Sunday's game in Minnesota.

    Corey Dickerson drapes towels over an exhausted Logan Morrison in the dugout during the 15th inning of Sunday’s marathon victory.
  5. Rays at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Arlington, Texas

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Rangers

    8:05, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 2: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2015 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)