MLB’s competition committee has agreed to changes in the strike zone and the intentional walk that could go into effect next season, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark. The changes would raise the strike zone slightly, from the bottom of the hitter’s knees to the top, thus creating a smaller zone for hitters and likely increasing offense. Also as a result of the proposed changes, a team could immediately issue an intentional walk without throwing the requisite four pitches. The changes must next be approved by MLB’s playing rules committee, which is led by Mets GM Sandy Alderson. Here are more quick notes from around the game.
- GM Dick Williams says the Reds will be creative in addressing their beleaguered pitching staff, but they have limited resources with which to pursue solutions, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes. The team now has six starting pitchers (Homer Bailey, Raisel Iglesias, Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, Jon Moscot and Tim Adleman) on the disabled list. “We will get creative. We always do. We find a way,” says Williams. “But this is putting an incredible strain on our resources.” They don’t seem likely to turn to top prospects like Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed, and Williams says there’s no “rainy day fund” with which to pursue outside replacements.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan still supports manager Paul Molitor despite the team’s 10-31 start, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press writes. “I’m in this with (Molitor); we’re joined at the hip,” says Ryan. “No one’s pointing fingers around here. I’ve got to do a better job. The club has to do a better job. It starts with my chair. I’m aware of that. I take that as serious as anything because I’m the one that makes the decisions.” Molitor, of course, took the Twins managerial job last year and led the club to its first winning season since 2010. But this season, in which he’s presided over a club that’s last in the AL in both runs scored and runs allowed, has been a trying one.