Dodgers’ Rich Hill believes Atlantic League rules changes are ‘a joke’

first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Hill’s reaction?“A joke,” he said. “It’s sad that they’re doing that, honestly. I’m definitely for change. Are there more efficient ways to play the game? Sure. I’m sure there are. But that’s not the way the game was designed, the way the game was structured.”Hill saved his sharpest criticism for the longer mound distance – from 60 feet, 6 inches to 62 feet, 6 inches. That rule will only go into effect in the second half of the Atlantic League season, so pitchers will have to adjust this summer on the fly.“I think it’s ridiculous,” Hill said. “Two feet is a huge difference. The game’s been played that way for 100 years. I don’t understand why – I don’t know. I don’t know.”Since players who aren’t part of a team’s 40-man roster can’t belong to the MLB Players’ Association, sweeping rules changes like these aren’t collectively bargained with the league. Last year, players did not agree to the rule that automatically placed a runner on second base to begin the 10th inning of minor league games. Nor did they consent to any pitch clocks, which have been part of the background of minor league games for years. “That’s one of the more unique ones,” Roberts said. “I guess I have to keep him away from the stove.”Kelly was scheduled to pitch in the Dodgers’ Cactus League game on Wednesday, but he took two days off instead. He threw a light bullpen session Friday.“It was just a little sore, not too bad,” Kelly said. “Long cookout. Crawfish boil. … We made chicken tacos, too.”ALSOShortstop Corey Seager returned after missing two days with an unspecified illness and took ground balls at shortstop. … Left-hander Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) played long toss for the second straight day. … Catcher Russell Martin (back) swung a bat and continued catching bullpens Friday. Roberts said Martin might return to game action as early as Sunday against the Rockies in Scottsdale. … Right-hander Walker Buehler remains on track to pitch to teammates Saturday as the Dodgers restrict his innings workload in spring training. GLENDALE, Ariz. — Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill might be the most famous alumnus of the Atlantic League. He and Scott Kazmir are wealthier for their time with the Long Island Ducks and Sugar Land Skeeters, respectively – $48 million wealthier, in fact, under the terms of the last contract each pitcher signed with the Dodgers.Hill has often praised his time on Long Island as a positive experience. His career is a testament to the power of the independent league as a development vehicle for major leaguers.For the next three seasons, the league will serve as a development vehicle for the rules of baseball, too.Major League Baseball announced Friday that it will partner with the Atlantic League to experiment with various playing rules and equipment. The most notable changes: balls and strikes called by a radar tracker, an additional two feet between the pitcher’s mound and home plate, a ban on certain infield shifts, and a three-batter minimum for all relief pitchers. Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies center_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Friday’s announcement marked a special partnership. Atlantic League teams aren’t technically part of minor league baseball, or formally affiliated with major league clubs. The average Atlantic League player was 29 years old in 2018 – similar to MLB, but much older than the average minor leaguer.Hill was 35 when he pitched for the Ducks in the summer of 2015. He thinks requiring relief pitchers to face three hitters at a time could present a health and safety issue.“Now you have relievers who have (pitched) two out of three days and you’re asking him to go that fourth day? Well, maybe they shouldn’t be facing three hitters. Maybe they should only be facing one or two.“Those guys in the Atlantic League are really good players. I feel they should be treated fairly, and I don’t think that is happening. … They should be represented with more dignity than that.”LOOKOUT COOKOUTRelif pitcher Joe Kelly is recovering from a stiff back that he developed far from a baseball field – in his kitchen.Kelly was hosting a team cookout at his Scottsdale home while pitchers Joe Broussard and J.T. Chargois, both Louisiana natives, prepared a 150-pound pot of crawfish. Kelly said the feast fed “at least 35, 40” teammates.“There were no leftovers,” he said proudly.The next day, Kelly’s back felt stiff. Manager Dave Roberts suggested the pitcher was simply standing for too long during the cookout.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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