Royals

Expanded use of replay off to a good start this baseball season

The first week of major-league baseball’s instant replay era was pretty much a success.

For the first time, incorrect calls were overturned on the bases and the process was almost flawless.

Almost.

A five-minute review in a White Sox-Twins game coupled with an explanation for Chicago manager Robin Ventura made Twins manager Ron Gardenhire decide to pull his starter rather than have him come out for the seventh inning.

“It cost me my pitcher,” Gardenhire told reporters. “It took too long, for everybody involved.”

The Twins ended up losing the game.

Time was an issue for Padres manager Bud Black as well. In the first inning of a game against the Dodgers, Black wanted to challenge a play.

However, umpires said Black took too long. Black said he was told that the pitcher was on the rubber and the batter in the box.

“Like I told those guys, I thought the message was to get the play right,” Black told reporters. “I don’t have a timer with me. But I thought I went out there in due time to issue the challenge.”

For the most part, however, instant replay has been well-received, even by those it negatively affects.

According to baseballsavant.com, 13 of 28 challenges were overturned through Friday’s games. One of the overturned challenges kept a Yankees’ inning alive Friday against Toronto. That allowed Ichiro Suzuki to reach first after he was ruled to have made the third out of the third inning.

The next batter hit a two-run double turning a Yankees deficit into a lead and they never trailed again.

“Without instant replay, we’re out of that inning,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters. “Then they get that big double there. That’s what it’s for. You want to get the game right.”

Three up

• This may have escaped attention, but Angels outfielder Mike Trout is pretty good. Through Friday, he was batting .429 with two home runs, a double and a triple.

• Miami’s Casey McGehee had 10 RBIs in his team’s first games.

• Nationals pitchers struck out 53 batters in the team’s first four games.

Three down

• Orioles’ second baseman Ryan Flaherty started the year zero for 15 with seven strikeouts.

• Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano failed to reach base in his first 12 plate appearances.

• The Diamondbacks lost six of their first seven games and were outscored by 19 runs.

Statistically speaking

• Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla had two doubles on Tuesday. Last year he didn’t have his first double until his 19th game, when he had already struck out 23 times.

• The Cardinals’ Lance Lynn (9-0) and the Rockies’ Juan Nicasio (6-0) have never lost in April, the only pitchers in the last 100 years with at least career 10 starts in April to be unbeaten in the month. Babe Ruth has the third-best winning percentage at .929 (13-1).

• Brandon Belt had three home runs in the first four games. The only other San Francisco players to do that were Willie Mays (three times), Barry Bonds and Kevin Mitchell.

• Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt is 12 for 23 in his career against Giants starter Tim Lincecum.

You need to know

• Angels designated hitter Raul Ibanez, a former Royal, was the older player on an opening-day roster at 41 years, 302 days.

• Bill Arnold notes that through Friday, Commissioner Bud Selig’s committee to study the A’s proposed move to San Jose has existed for 1,832 days (466 days longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II) and has yet to produce any report or recommendations.

• Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera’s salary his rookie year was $165,000. According to the Detroit Free-Press, he will be paid $180,000 per game over the next 10 years.

Words of wisdom

“He just had a natural gift for castration.”

| Jeff Cashner on his son, Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner, who grew up ranching and showing livestock in 4H in Texas.

On deck

• The Tigers will go to Los Angeles for a two-game series against the Dodgers starting on Tuesday.

• Ibanez is four hits shy of 2,000 for his career.

• The Red Sox and Yankees will start a series on Friday that might get a mention on ESPN.

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