MLB Storylines: MLB officially bans home plate collisions
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, February 24th.
- Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced they have have agreed to implement a one-year experimental rule that bans almost all types of home plate collisions. The rule does not ban players from colliding with a catcher if the ball is already clearly in the catcher's glove by the time the runner reaches home plate. However, base runners are not allowed to deviate their direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact. If the umpire feels that the base runner attemping to score initiated contact, the runner will be ruled out, even if the catcher (or player covering) drops the ball. Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the base runner attempting to score. If the umpire feels that has been violated, the runner will be ruled safe.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that David Ortiz could ask the Red Sox to break the $20 million barrier in adding an extra year to his contract.
- After learning Nick Franklin was likely to be traded and speculating on the Mets as a potential fit last week, ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin confirmed with a team source that the Mets do have some interest in Franklin. According to Rubin, the Mets and Mariners discussed Franklin at the Winter Meetings and are likely to do so again in the month of March.
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Cleveland front office has begun the process of trying to extend All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis.
- Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reported that Carlos Santana has appeared comfortable at third base during workouts over the past eight days. The next step for Santana is seeing how he looks in game action.
- Cody Allen threw off a mound in a live batting-practice session on Monday. One of the hitters he faced was top prospect Francisco Lindor. "I'll tell you one thing, Lindor's got really quick hands," Allen remarked.
News and Notes
- Early returns on Red Sox outfielder Grady Sizemore are positive, reports Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com. Hitting coach Gregg Colbrunn said that his swing has "all the good things you look for" in spite of his long layoff, while manager John Farrell said that Sizmore has been at "full speed" on the bases and in the field.
- Rays GM Andrew Friedman appeared on MLB Hot Stove and maintained it will be difficult for the team to hold on to their ace David Price over the long haul.
- Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reported that Matt Harrison's MRI came back clean and he will re-start his throwing program in two days.
- The Pirates have designated infielder Chase d'Arnaud for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for Brent Morel who they claimed off of waivers from the Blue Jays.
- The Rangers have extended manager Ron Washington for one more season, now extending him through 2015.
Let's say Santana is your everyday 3B....who is your DH? Against righties it's....Giambi? Raburn? But what if Chisenhall has a good spring? He did have a great September/playoff game when he was playing almost exclusively against righties. If you're goal is to put the best team on the field...good case could be made that Chisenhall's bat against righties gives you that. And if he's on the team and in the lineup vs RHP...why not leave him at 3B and DH Santana? Can Santana really be that much better or even equal to Chisenhall defensively already? Suppose it's possible.
Still think though 3B is Chisenhall's to lose, not Santana's to win...at least against RHP at this time. Though also didn't think in October we'd even be considering Santana as a real option at 3B in 2014 so anything is possible.
Obviously needs to work on hitting lefties but did hit .310 against lefties last year in AAA. Sure sample wasn't big but he's shown he can hit all kinds of minor league pitching, not much more to prove down there. Obviously more reps against lefties can't hurt though...
If Santana were to win the everyday 3B job I'd send Chiz to Columbus personally. Agree he doesn't have really anything to prove there offensively but needs everyday at-bats IMO.
Plus...if he loses his 3B job in Cleveland....I wouldn't mind seeing him get some reps in the OF. What's the harm in trying? Personally think he's athletic enough to handle either corner spot. Maybe even a little 1B. Still think he can be an everyday 3B in the bigs, but some position flexibility doesn't hurt.
Don't see any reason why the Red Sox wouldn't just wait til after the season and give him a QO...even if it's for $15M, who is going to give up a 1st round pick for a DH-only at his age?
I think he has nothing left to prove in Columbus regarding hitting because he can hit AAA pitching.
The difference between home plate and any other position is that once it's touched the runner is no longer in play. Can't be tagged out no matter what really. Even 1B you can be tagged out if the ump considers you made a "turn" for 2nd.
You could point to 1B and say all you need to do it touch the bag but you never (or almost never) see a first basemen blocking the bag as there is no need to tag the runner as there is most of the time at home plate.
At 2B and 3B you could try and plow into the guy at the bag...but if you end up going past the bag you can still be tagged out.
At least that's my take on it.
Also goes back to coaching/technique. Infielders aren't taught (at least not usually) to drop a shin in front of the bag to block a guy sliding in...they are taught to drop their gloves in front forcing the runner to slide into the glove. At home catchers are taught from a young age to drop their protected shins (at least) in front of home to block a runner coming in.
You want to keep catchers healthier...better coaching from a young age. You want to protect pitchers from batted balls? Teach them from a young age to be in proper fielding position after their windup. Not saying coaching/technique can protect against all injuries but still think it'd help a ton and avoid the need for rules such as this one.
At least that's how I'm reading this. Personally think this new wording leaves way too much interpretation...then again, the original wording on home plate collisions did as well...