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MLB announces major rule changes for 2019

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Like it or not, the MLB is undergoing a major facelift.

The league officially approved some significant rule changes on Thursday that will become effective during the 2019 season.

In case you missed it, here is what to expect.

  • Inning Breaks: Subject to discussions with broadcast partners, inning breaks will be reduced from 2:05 to 2:00 in local games, and from 2:25 to 2:00 in national games.  (The Office of the Commissioner retains the right to reduce the inning breaks to 1:55 in local and national games for the 2020 season.)
  • Mound Visits: The maximum number of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.
  • Trade Deadline: The trade deadline will remain July 31st; however, trade waivers will be eliminated.  Players may be placed and claimed on outright waivers after July 31st, but players may not be traded after that date.
  • Joint Committee: MLB and the MLBPA will form a joint committee to study other potential changes.
  • All-Star Game:
    • All-Star Game fan voting will be conducted in two rounds.  During the “Primary Round,” each Club will nominate one player per eligible position (three outfielders), who will be voted on by fans.  In late June or early July, an “Election Day” will be held in which the top three vote-getters at each position in each League during the Primary Round (including the top nine outfielders) will be voted on by fans during a prescribed time period to determine the All-Star Game starters.  Further details on the new fan voting format will be announced in April.
    • All-Star bonus payments will be given to the top three vote-getters at each position in each League during the Primary Round (top six for outfielders).  Additionally, the prize money awarded to players on the winning All-Star team will be increased beginning with the 2019 All-Star Game.
    • Both Clubs will start the 10th inning of the All-Star Game, and each subsequent inning, with a runner on second base (re-entry substitutions allowed for runners).
    • Home Run Derby: Total player prize money for the Home Run Derby will be increased to $2.5 million.  The winner of the Home Run Derby will receive $1 million.

Baseball

Indians to activate Mike Clevinger from injured list, expect him to start Monday

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The Cleveland Indians are set to get a key part of their rotation back in the lineup.

The team has activated right-hander Mike Clevinger from the 60-day injured list due to an upper back/teres major strain.

Clevinger, who recently made a start with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks, is likely to start for the Indians in Monday’s game against the Texas Rangers.

The 28-year old has made just two starts this season, and hasn’t pitched in the majors since April 7. He has posted a 1-0 record, 0.00 ERA and 0.48 WHIP in 12.0 innings pitched.

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Baseball

Cubs ink closer Craig Kimbrel to three-year deal

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It’s official. The Chicago Cubs have won the Craig Kimbrel sweepstakes.

The team announced that they have signed the veteran closer to a three-year, $43 million contract. This comes after being unsigned for more than two months to start the 2019 campaign largely due to the compensatory draft pick that had to be given up if they were signed him prior to the 2019 MLB Draft.

The 31-year old provides some much needed firepower for a struggling bullpen that is tied for third-worst in the majors with 11 blown saves this season.

Kimbrel has put up incredible numbers throughout his career. Through nine seasons and 542 regular season games split between the Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox, he has posted a combined 31-19 record, 1.91 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 333 saves and a 90.7 save percentage to go along with his seven MLB All-Star appearances, two MLB Reliever of the Year Awards and a World Series title in 2018.

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Baseball

Phillies’ Andrew McCutchen out for season with torn ACL

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The Philadelphia Phillies have been dealt a major blow.

The team confirmed that veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen will miss the remainder of the 2019 season after tearing his ACL during Monday’s 8-2 loss to the San Diego Padres.

He sustained the season-ending injury when he was forced into a rundown after Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler purposely missed a pop fly in the first inning.

The 32-year old, who signed a three-year, $50 million contract with the team this offseason, was hitting .256 with 10 homers, 29 RBI and an .834 OPS in 59 games and 262 plate appearances.

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