TORONTO — Commissioner Rob Manfred said it's "not appropriate" to enforce pace-of-play rules as strictly during the postseason.
Speaking before the Blue Jays hosted the Rangers in Game 2 of their AL Division Series, Manfred said he was pleased with cooperation from players during the regular season, when the average time of a nine-inning game was cut by six minutes this year to 2:56.
"We are going to stay focused on pace of play," Manfred said, "but in terms of the disciplinary aspects of the program, warnings and things like that, it's just not appropriate in the postseason."
Major League Baseball has not said whether players were fined for violations during the regular season.
While speaking in front of the visiting team's dugout, Manfred was heckled by a fan who was upset Toronto's first two games were scheduled on weekday afternoons. Asked about those complaints, Manfred denied that the Blue Jays were given earlier times slots because they are considered a poor draw by U.S. viewing audiences.
"Somebody had to play early." Manfred said. "We've got four games today, three hours windows, somebody has got to play in that early slot."
BELTRE IMPROVING: Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre was out of the starting lineup Friday, but the club said that his lower back strain was showing signs of improvement. An MRI exam showed no structural damage, and the Rangers said that Beltre is day to day. Beltre did not take batting practice and was seen only briefly outside the Rangers' clubhouse before the game. Hanser Alberto replaced Beltre, and INFs Joey Gallo and Ed Lucas worked out with the club after arriving from Arizona after midnight Thursday.
JAYS LOSE KEY RELIEVER: LH reliever Brett Cecil suffered a significant tear in his left calf during Friday's game. Cecil, who had a 2.49 ERA in 541/3 innings this season and allowed only two unearned runs in his final 37 appearances, is likely to miss the rest of the postseason.
METS ADD MATZ: LHP Steven Matz is on New York's roster for the NL Division Series against the Dodgers. Matz, 24, threw 80 pitches in an instructional league intrasquad scrimmage Thursday to test his troublesome back and said a day later that he felt fine. He's likely to start a potential Game 4 on Tuesday at Citi Field.
MARINERS FIRE MANAGER: New GM Jerry Dipoto fired manager Lloyd McClendon after two seasons. Instead of moving forward with someone who had differing baseball views, Dipoto will start his tenure in Seattle with someone he chooses.