Across the nation attendance and temperatures have risen allowing fans to enjoy nights at the park again. A sense of normalcy has returned throughout the nation, Nelson Wolff Stadium, and baseball as a whole.
The status-quo of baseball also includes the yearly cheating scandal that has engulfed the entirety of the sport. Minor League Baseball is caught up in the rule changes as well with umpires being told to check pitchers coming in and out of games among several other points of emphasis to quell the use of illegal substances.
Pitchers across baseball in all leagues have to adjust midseason to the changes which some pitchers have speculated that this is a contributing factor to injuries. Tampa Bay Rays All-Star and Cy Young candidate Tyler Glasnow spoke on the changes he had to make in his pitching approach which he believes contributed to his partially torn UCL that may cause him to miss the rest of the regular season.
While major league pitchers voice their displeasure, it is the minor league pitchers who have faced the wrath of commissioner Rob Manfred. Three minor league pitchers, (insert who they are and where they play), have been suspended 10-games for using foreign substances.
A suspension of a major league player under these new rules has yet to happen and it will most likely not happen due to the player’s association appeals, the burden of evidence, and being the first to do something in any sport is especially difficult. However, minor leaguer’s are free game.
The everyday fan won’t think twice of a career minor leaguer being suspended, it’s easy to impose these rules on minor league players who don’t have any representation in these matters.
These rule changes were made, in part, to boost offense in baseball, unfortunately, that was not the case Wednesday night at the Wolff. The sleepy crowd was treated to an equally as sleepy game. False hope of a barnburner was given in the first inning as Northwest Arkansas Natural’s star and Royals top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. followed a leadoff home run with a triple that electrified the fans and dugout but ultimately was meaningless as San Antonio Missions’ starter Caleb Boushley escape the jam and began dicing up the Naturals.
The Missions’ added a run of their own via a leadoff walk and an extremely questionable double that slid under the glove of Natural’s third basemen Allen Cordoba’s glove and scored leadoff hitter Jose Azocar to even the score at 1.
Both teams traded 0’s back and forth till the fourth and fifth inning when the Naturals scratched across a run in each frame to extend their lead to 3-1.
This lead would sustain till the 8th inning when AA newcomer Yorman Rodriguez stroked his first home run of his Missions’ career and cut the lead down to one. Ultimately, their comeback fell short as three straight strikeouts ended the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Missions continue their series on June 17th, as the Flying Canclas make another appearance to continue their series against the Naturals.
Bobby Witt Jr.: 3-5, HR, 3B, 2B (Single away from the Cycle)
Clay Dungan 3-5, HR, 2B (Triple away from the Cycle)
Drew Parrish: 5IP, 1H, 1ER, 4Ks, 1 BB
Caleb Boushley: 5IP, 8H, 3ER, 4Ks, 0 BBs