OAKLAND, Calif. – Not everyone likes the new rules announced by Major League Baseball Friday, but White Sox right-hander Jimmy Lambert, who pitched under a pitch clock this season at Triple-A Charlotte, is a proponent.
“You’re going to come to the park every night knowing how long the games are going to be,” Lambert said. “I was in the minors for like six weeks this year and every game basically is like 2 hours and 40 or 50 minutes, in that range. You’re not going to have games that are four hours, which we had two or three days ago. Regardless of score, really, because the score doesn’t determine how long the game goes.”
Baseball’s competition committee voted to implement larger bases, a pitch clock and restrictions on defensive shifting.
Veteran left-hander Jake Diekman said the pitch clock is “stupid.”
“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem, guys will get used to it, but in the playoffs, you’re going to say pitchers can’t take their time making the most important pitch of the season?” Diekman said. “And if you want to speed up the game, why are you making all these rules to improve offense?”
Closer Liam Hendriks said pitchers shouldn’t be penalized over and again if baseball wants to create offense. He said the rule limiting pickoff attempts is his biggest disappointment.
“I understand the concept but … at some point you have to come the other way and be unbiased in that regard.”
Regardless, adjustments will be made, starting in spring training. And it should be good for the fans.
“I love it,” broadcaster Len Kasper said.
“People will adjust to it,” Sox acting manager Miguel Cairo said. “Players will adjust to it, front office and coaches will adjust to it. And you know, it’s still baseball.”
La Russa awaits clearance for Sunday
Tony La Russa underwent another medical test Friday and was hoping for clearance from his doctors to travel from Phoenix to Oakland for Dave Stewart’s uniform retirement ceremony Sunday.
La Russa could be cleared for Sunday but not yet to manage. A Sox spokesman said La Russa sounds good in conversations on the phone, but the team doesn’t have a clear sense of if or when he will be cleared to return. The team expects to know Saturday if La Russa will be in Oakland Sunday.
The Sox were 7-3 in the last 10 games with bench coach Miguel Cairo managing, and while La Russa hopes to return, he is also conscience about not wanting to disrupt a good thing.
Robert takes BP
Luis Robert missed his third straight start with a sore wrist but took live batting practice for the first time in a few days after getting “a good review” from trainer James Kruk after he hit in the cage.
“We’re just going to take one step at a time,” Cairo said. “It’s different in batting practice than when you’re facing someone with fastball, slider, changeup curveball and you have to check your swing. We just want to make sure he feels better and is ready to go.”
Grandal has back tightness
Cairo said Yasmani Grandal reported having back stiffness, so Seby Zavala was given his third straight start at catcher. Cairo said Grandal is day to day but was available as a backup.
Padilla claimed off waivers
Right-hander Nicholas Padilla was claimed off waivers from the Cubs and left-hander Anderson Severino was designated for assignment. Padilla was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.