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Thursday newsletter time: New rules could be tweaked before Rangers’ opener

(AP photo/Brynn Anderson)

 

Rules were meant to be broken, or at least bent a little, and MLB and the players association are ready to do some bending.

Roughly a month’s worth of spring games have revealed the need for some tweaks to the new set of rules being implemented this season, including a pitch clock and no infield shifts.

Several outlets reported that MLB is open to making some adjustments before the 2023 campaign opens next Thursday. Hitters apparently have felt as if they don’t have enough time to become “alert to the pitcher,” and pitchers have already found ways to use the clock and other pace-of-play rules to their advantage.

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said on Wednesday that he’s fine with whatever, but also mentioned there have already been some changes. Hitters get extra time to recover from brush-back pitches, and pitchers get more time to return to the mound after plays in which they have had to cover first base.

One popular idea is adding a few seconds to the pitch clock in the eighth and ninth innings (and presumably in extra innings), when more is on the line. Pitchers have 15 seconds to deliver a pitch with the bases empty and 20 seconds with a runner on. Hitters must be ready in the batter’s box with 8 seconds to go.

The pitch clock is achieving its desired effect as spring games have been around 25 minutes shorter than last year. The Rangers beat the White Sox on Wednesday 2-0 in 1 hour, 54 minutes.

Staying home

Bochy did not travel to Scottsdale Stadium for the Rangers’ split-squad game against the Giants, whom Bochy led to three World Series. The reason: He has friends in town and didn’t want to slight them.

Some big names did go to Scottsdale ahead of the Rangers’ night game tonight, including shortstop Corey Seager, second baseman Marcus Semien and right-hander Jon Gray. A night in Scottsdale with no early wake-up call is pretty appealing to players and their wives.

Those who stayed in Surprise got to watch right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, and also had the chance to catch up with Elvis Andrus as he made the short drive from White Sox camp to Surprise Stadium.

He’s a second baseman now as he enters his 15th MLB season, the first 12 of which were with the Rangers before they traded him to Oakland in February 2021.

Frisco scholarship program

Attention, parents of college-bound kids: Double A Frisco might be able to help cushion the burden of tuition.

The RoughRiders have partnered with InTouch Credit Union to offer 10 $1,000 college scholarships. The application process requires at 2.75 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), a personal essay up to 500 words essay and two letters of recommendations. Applicants must graduate from high schools in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Rockwall and Tarrant counties.

To apply, as both of my kids will be doing in seven and nine years, click here.

ICYMI …

Spring training is almost over, which is a good thing but also somewhat alarming. It seems to have gone by so quickly. Maybe it’s because Rangers Today has been so busy in getting ready for the new season. That’s got to be it.

Anyhoo, we’re cranking and will be cranking throughout the season. You probably should go ahead and get full access for $5.99 a month, $35 for six months, $60 for a year or the $200 Founding Member plan for a year. What do you get? Here’s our latest, in case you missed it.

An update on Eric Nadel

The Sunday Read: Roster projection 3.0

Friday on the Farm: Sebastian Walcott makes impression

Rangers notes: deGrom throws, and a decision in left field

Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Audio links to new Jon Gray episode

Doggy video!

Nothing witty to say. This is just really sweet. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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