Welcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective
Beach Bums' Johnson signs with Twins
D.J. Johnson of the Traverse City Beach Bums has been picked up by the Minnesota Twins. Johnson, in the midst of his fourth professional minor league season wowed the Beach Bums saving a career high 14 games and posting a 1.30 ERA in 24 games. Johnson is not stranger to the professional ranks. He's spent time within the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations. In four seasons he's racked up six wins to go with 10 losses. His 9.8 SO/9 is very impressive as is his 2.69 career ERA in over 110 games and over 150 innings.
Diablos are out of the Pecos League
According to the Pecos League, the Douglas Diablos will not return for 2015. The league reports that the Diablos finished dead last in the league in attendance. Apparently tickets are $6 and fans still didn't come through the turnstile. Unfortunate that Douglas has become another casualty of the indy game.
I interviewed Tal Smith of the Atlantic League's Pace of Play committee. Their objective is to make the game more enjoyable for the fans and enhance "watchability". Recently the league came out with six new rules to enhance the pace of the game. Please see below for the full list, courtesy of the Atlantic League.
- ”Limited Time-Outs” Rule: The defensive team will be limited to three “time-outs” per game, in which mound visits or on-field conferences take place with the current pitcher. Pitching changes will not be counted as “time-outs,” and in the case of extra innings, one additional “time-out” will be permitted at the start of the 10th inning and every three innings thereafter. Umpires will enforce a strict forty-five second time limit on said “time-outs.” If the umpire’s warning is disregarded by the defensive team and play continues to be delayed, the umpire shall declare a “ball” for the batter at the plate. This will limit the number of times play is interrupted by on-the-field conferences.
- The “Substitute-Runner for the Catcher” Rule: When a catcher reaches base safely as a batter, the manager will immediately a substitute-runner who is not currently in the line-up to take the catcher’s place on base. This ensures that the start of an inning is not delayed while waiting for the catcher to suit up.
- Reduced Number of Warm-Up Pitches: Reduce the number of preparatory “warm-up” pitches at the beginning of an inning, or when a relief pitcher enters the game, from eight pitches to six, within 60 seconds. Timing is consistent with Rule 8.03 stating preparatory pitches shall not consume more than one minute of time.
- Automatic Awarding of an Intentional Walk: When a manager or catcher on the defensive team indicates to the home plate umpire they wish to issue an intentional base on balls, the batter is to be automatically awarded first base without the need for the pitcher to deliver four balls.
- Directing Umpires to Apply and Enforce Rule 6.02 and Rule 8.04: The Atlantic League office shall intensify its directives to the umpires and direct them to be more diligent applying and enforcing Rule 6.02 (restricting batters “stepping out” of the batter’s box) and Rule 8.04 (requiring the pitcher to deliver the ball within 12 seconds when the bases are unoccupied).
- Directing Umpires to Control the Pace of Play: ALPB umpires shall be reminded that they control the pace of play and that they need to exercise that control and move the game along in a timely manner. The umpires shall adhere to the entire strike zone as defined in Rule 2.00 and observe that definition when calling pitches balls or strikes.