There are some notable items this weekend for minor league baseball, and the Reds in general. Let’s start off with what’s happening in Triple-A and the “playoffs” and the experiment Major League Baseball is conducting.

After abruptly ending the ability for pitchers to use any sort of “sticky stuff” on the baseball besides rosin mid-season, Major League Baseball is now experimenting with a “pre-tacked” baseball in the final two weeks in Triple-A. As Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser’s piece notes, these baseballs will not be in play for every team for every game. Some teams may not even get a chance to use them, but most will for at least one game.

It’s not just Triple-A where the experimentation is going to be, though. The Arizona Fall League will see some continuation of rule changes this season, too. Perhaps the biggest rule will be the limiting of shifting. Infielders must remain on the dirt and two infielders must be on each side of the second base bag. This rule was also used in Double-A in the second half of the season.

There will also be a 15-second pitch clock in play. This rule was used in the Low-A West this year and saw a reduction in time it took to play a game by 21 minutes. Larger bases, 18-inches instead of the traditional 15-inches, will also be in play. These were used this season in Triple-A. The idea behind this move was to decrease collisions at the bases between fielders and runners. But it also increased, slightly, the rate at which bases were stolen. Another rule that should help stolen bases is the league will limit pickoff attempts to two per plate appearance. One stadium in the league will also implement the automated balls and strikes system (Salt River).

The Arizona Fall League begins in three weeks. The first game will be October 13th and will run through November 20th. On November 13th the league will have their annual Fall Stars game. The Fall Stars game and the championship game will both be on MLB Network.

Rosters have yet to be announced for any of the teams. The Cincinnati Reds will be a part of the Surprise Saguaros this year. There was no AFL in 2020, but in 2019 the Reds were a part of the team in Glendale. The Reds were well represented by future big leaguers Jose Barrero, Stuart Fairchild, Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson, and Dauri Moreta.

Kyle Boddy on Fangraphs Audio

Kyle Boddy, the now former Director of Pitching for the Cincinnati Reds joined David Laurila on the Fangraphs Audio podcast this week. He spoke a little bit about his leaving the organization, but spent a lot of time talking about the work that he did while he was in the organization, some of the pitchers – both the big name guys as well as some that are probably under the radar for many who don’t read stuff here – and what he may be moving towards now that he’s not in the Reds organization.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

Related Posts

13 Responses

  1. Jordan Salisbury

    Doug, I am curious to know your thoughts on Kyle Boddy leaving? I know you wrote an article about it but what do you think what the cause of his departure. I’m just frustrated on how everything seems to have fallen apart in the analytics department that Dick Williams made.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s not just Boddy leaving, it’s Eric Lee leaving. It’s Dick Williams leaving. It’s C.J. Gillman leaving. It’s other positions being cut and not replaced.

      It’s bad. And it’s probably going to get worse this offseason when contracts officially end for more guys and positions. Some of it is ownership being cheap. Some of it is a different direction with where the organization wants to take things. It’s not good and I don’t have a lot of faith that cutting positions and losing people and not replacing them is in any way actually going to move the organization in the right direction. Even if we pretend that the new direction is the right one – and we don’t really know if it is – removing a bunch of positions and not filling them, leaving even more work to be done by fewer people in an industry where everyone already works too much just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

      • Jonathan Linn

        Well said. Makes sense why Williams left if ownership was going to tear down what he was trying to build. I wonder how much of this is the fall out from COVID canceling the 2020 season…

        Very frustrated as a fan. The one advantage the Reds had is now gone

  2. MK

    No doubt Driveline has quite a PR/Marketing footprint, which has made Boddy a celebrity guru. While with the Reds Trevor Bauer’s success did not hurt that. I think Kyle probably knows, and rightfully so, you have to strike while the iron is hot. Greener pastures lie ahead for him and I imagine the Reds were not financially prepared to supply the green necessary.

    I do think he should have been hired as a roving instructor rather than coordinator (a position which requires as much administration detail as it does velocity and spin rates).

    I look for Boddy to end up with the Mets who have awful deep pockets right now.

    • Jessie Wrinkler

      Yes, the Mets and Boddy have talked, according to MLBTR. Last month, before Boddy left, The Athletic and MLBTR reported that the Mets and the Rangers approached him. So he will be in demand this offseason. In the FanGraphs interview, KB sounds confident about his career prospects, and no doubt he’ll land a good spot.

  3. RedsGettingBetter

    Now when the Reds farm system has a bunch of good prospects to develop with great upsides so the future looks to be encouraging as never before then suddenly it begins to occured this unfortunate situation in the management of the organization… It is really insane and unacceptable…

  4. DaveCT

    Simple plug for Doug’s Patreon email news, where this comment is derived.

    The 2021 Instructional League roster is LOADED. There is a lot of talent heading there, a lot of offensive talent in particular. Wow! This group would be worth the trip.

    Go sign up, folks. Good stuff and it also keeps the lights on in Doug’s house.

    • Doug Gray

      And just importantly, it keeps my air conditioning on in the summer, which means I can breathe and not die. Very important. I’d rather have AC than lights lol.

  5. Shawn

    Heard in a podcast. Maybe Fangraphs, I can’t remember that the reason AFL rosters hasn’t been announced yet is because all participants have to be vaccinated to attend. Didn’t want to release names till they knew who would for sure be going.

    • Doug Gray

      I read that somewhere, too. The teams weren’t named, but there were reportedly several teams who had to change players that they wanted to send out there.