Broadcasting from Asheville, North Carolina, Major League Baseball’s initiative to shrink the minor leagues cut close to home with the Asheville Tourists in town. The Tourists were apparently never in danger of losing MLB affiliation, but did switch parent clubs from the Colorado Rockies to the Houston Astros. And they moved up a level from low-Single A to high-A.
Another factor in MLB wanting more control was the ability to use the minor leagues as a testing lab for the many rules changes the sport is considering. On WISE Sports Radio‘s weekly baseball segment, Pat Ryan and I discussed several of the new rules we’ll see in the minors this year, some of which will surely be seen in the majors soon.
We went longer on the rules conversation than planned, probably because I have a tendency to ramble on such things. Because of that, we didn’t preview the AL Central division. The plan is to do so next Monday, but in case we forget, here’s how I see the standings playing out:
- Twins – Minnesota has the best pitching, which gives them the edge.
- White Sox – New additions make Chicago the trendy pick, but I don’t think they have enough pitching.
- Indians – Trading their best player (Francisco Lindor) is not a path to success. But good pitching!
- Royals – Surprisingly active offseason, which may be enough to overtake Cleveland.
- Tigers – The rebuild continues and maybe it’s time a new guy was in charge of it.
You can listen to The WISE Guys from 3 to 6 p.m. ET streaming on wisesportsradio.com (courtesy of Mars Hill University) or the TuneIn app. Locally in the Asheville area, dial up 1310 or 970 AM and 102.9 FM. And thanks to Happy Hill Restaurant for sponsoring the MLB segment.