Thursday, February 16, 2017

2017 MLB Spring Training Umpire Roster

MLB's umpire roster for Spring Training 2017 is now available. Comprised of 102 umpires, including 76 full-time MLB + 26 minor league invitees, this year's roster for Arizona's Cactus and Florida's Grapefruit Leagues contains seven more umpires than did 2016's Spring Training roster (95 umpires). With the 2017 World Baseball Classic scheduled to begin on March 6 and conclude on March 22, there will be a need for greater depth on the roster to accommodate those umpires selected to officiate the international tournament.

The Spring Training roster below includes sleeve numbers for all applicable umpires; Minor League umpires with numbers have been designated as fill-in umpires authorized to call MLB games during the regular season, while MiLB names without sleeve numbers have simply been invited to officiate Major League Spring Training games, but have not officially been called up to fill in during the regular season (though as we've seen in the past, some umpires without sleeve numbers in February may be assigned MLB numbers come April). Umpires in bold are new to the Spring Training list.

MLB Spring Training Umpires' Roster - 2017 Pre-Season
MLB StaffMLB StaffMiLB Invitees & Call-Ups
Baker, Jordan 71
Barksdale, Lance 23
Barrett, Lance 94
Barrett, Ted 65
Barry, Scott 87
Bellino, Dan 2
Blaser, Cory 89
Bucknor, CB 54
Carapazza, Vic 19
Carlson, Mark 6
Cederstrom, Gary 38
Conroy, Chris 98
Cooper, Eric 56
Culbreth, Fieldin 25
Cuzzi, Phil 10
Danley, Kerwin 44
Davis, Gerry 12
DeMuth, Dana 32
Diaz, Laz 63
DiMuro, Mike 16
Drake, Rob 30
Dreckman, Bruce 1
Eddings, Doug 88
Emmel, Paul 50
Estabrook, Mike 83
Everitt, Mike 57
Fairchild, Chad 4
Fletcher, Andy 49
Foster, Marty 60
Gibson, Greg 53
Gibson, Tripp 73
Gonzalez, Manny 79
Gorman, Brian 9
Guccione, Chris 68
Hallion, Tom 20
Hamari, Adam 78
Hernandez, Angel 55
Hickox, Ed 15
Hoberg, Pat 31
Holbrook, Sam 34
Hoye, James 92
Hudson, Marvin 51
Iassogna, Dan 58
Johnson, Adrian 80
Kellogg, Jeff 8
Knight, Brian 91
Kulpa, Ron 46
Layne, Jerry 24
Little, Will 93
Marquez, Alfonso 72
Meals, Jerry 41
Miller, Bill 26
Morales, Gabe 47
Muchlinski, Mike 76
Nauert, Paul 39
Nelson, Jeff 45
O'Nora, Brian 7
Porter, Alan 64
Rackley, David 86
Randazzo, Tony 11
Reyburn, D.J. 70
Reynolds Jim 77
Ripperger, Mark 90
Scott, Dale 5
Tichenor, Todd 13
Timmons, Tim 95
Torres, Carlos 37
Tumpane, John 74
Vanover, Larry 27
Wegner, Mark 14
Welke, Bill 3
Wendelstedt, Hunter 21
West, Joe 22
Winters, Mike 33
Wolcott, Quinn 81
Wolf, Jim 28
Additon, Ryan -
Bacon, John -
Barber, Sean 29
Basner, Toby 99
Blakney, Ryan 36
Bostwick, John -
Cascioppo, Mike -
De Jesus, Ramon 18
Eggert, Travis -
Fagan, Clint 82
Lentz, Nic 59
Libka, John -
Livensparger, Shane -
Nick Mahrley -
May, Ben 97
Merzel, Dan -
Ortiz, Roberto 40
Patterson, Garrett -
Rehab, Jeremie -
Scheurwater, Stu 85
Segal, Chris 96
Teague, Ron "Ronnie" -
Tosi, Alex -
Valentine, Junior -
Whitson, Chad 62
Woodring, Tom 75

(26 MiLB Umpires)
(76 MLB Umpires)
(102 Total Umpires)

Information obtained by
UEFL on 2/16/2017.
Some observations, year-over-year:
  • > MiLB invites increased by six (from 2016), while full-time MLB umpires increased by one.
  • > 2017's roster of 26 MiLBU is comprised of 14 invitees and 12 regular-season call-up umps.
  • > Umpires who appeared on the 2015 Spring Training MiLB invitee list, but who have been cut from the 2016 preseason are: Seth Buckminster (2016 MLB call-up), Ryan Goodman (2015-16 ST invitee), and Anthony Johnson (2016 MLB call-up). Buckminster and Johnson were the only two 2016 MLB call-ups not to appear in a single MLB game last season.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Proposed 30-Second Replay Time Limit Under Review

MLB's latest replay review proposal is a 30-second time limit for manager delay, or 'hold' strategy, that has been used by teams deciding whether or not to challenge an umpire's call since expanded replay made its 2014 debut. Similarly, a two-minute "guideline" for Replay Officials in MLBAM's New York Replay HQ is also under consideration, although sources say that often times the definitive angle or slow-motion replay is not immediately accessible to the umpires in New York, and sometimes only arrives at MLBAM after the two-minute mark.

According to an ESPN report, Major League Baseball has been in talks with the umpires' union (World Umpires Association) concerning its latest effort to improve pace-of-play and reduce game times. Sources familiar with the situation said that introducing a 30-second time limit for managers to decide whether or not to file a Manager's Challenge is but one of several potential changes to replay under consideration.

Because inning-ending, game-ending, and pitching change-related challenges already are subject to their own unique restrictions regarding review timeliness, timing for these situations would likely stay the same. For instance, managers must exercise their challenge on game-ending plays "immediately" upon the conclusion of such a play, a lesson Reds skipper Bryan Price learned all too well in late 2016, when he failed to challenge Cardinals batter Yadier Molina's walk-off hit that scored game-winning baserunner Matt Carpenter from first base. Replays indicate the ball bounced out of play such that R1 Carpenter would likely have been placed back at third base had the play gone to Review.

Bryan Price wants more pre-review time.
Price told reporters that by the time his ball club had completed its own internal review of the play, and decided to exercise the Manager's Challenge, the umpires had already left the playing field pursuant to Replay Regulation II.D.1 ("A challenge to a play that ends the game must be invoked immediately upon the conclusion of the play, and both Clubs shall remain in their dugouts until the Replay Official issues his decision"). Because he failed to notify umpires immediately, the game was declared over.

Similarly, inning-ending challenges are subject to the following guidelines: First, within 10 seconds of the conclusion of the inning-ending play, a manager must run onto the field and notify an umpire that the team is considering filing a challenge. Second, within 30 seconds of the manager's entrance onto the playing field, a final decision must be given. If the manager fails to abide by the 10- and 30-second time limits, the umpire may deny the challenge request.

MLB's current proposal effectively would take the end-of-inning's 30-second time limit and expand that restriction to all other 'ordinary' replay review situations that might occur during a game.

Insofar as delay of game is concerned, the present regulation states that "on-field personnel may not intentionally delay the game in order to provide their club with additional time to challenge a play." Managers may not personally access video in the clubhouse (although they may speak with a coach or video coordinator who has access to the video replays), and umpires may warn teams if they feel the team is delaying its review: there is presently no time limit attached to any of the review regulations other than those described above.

Data from 2016 indicates the average review took one-minute and 36 seconds to complete, compared to 1:51 in 2015 (a 15-second decrease), with umpires spending just 1:10 on their headsets awaiting NY's decision, compared to 1:27 in 2015 (a 17-second decrease). In 2015, only 5.3% of reviews took over three minutes to complete, and 1.2% took four minutes or longer.

Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 UEFL Registration, Draft, Appeals Board

Registration, draft, now open for the 2017 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League season.
Links: Register & Draft Umpires for the 2017 UEFL | Subscribe to UEFL Digest E-mails
Link: Run for the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board (Nomination Form)

Welcome to the 2017 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League preseason. This year, we are offering registration and draft selection on one standardized form. Accordingly, you may both register and draft your umpires at the same time. Alternately, members retain the privilege of drafting umpires in phases, pursuant to UEFL Rule 1, so make sure you consult the 2017 registration and draft form for instructions regarding this year's registration/draft procedure. All registrants will automatically be entered into both the standard and UEFL Express (umpire points only) divisions.

Speaking of UEFL Rules, click here to consult the 2017 UEFL Rules Book, which will govern play for the 2017 season, as codified and modified pursuant to voting during the 2016 Rules Summit.

Registration - Eligibility, Procedures & the Draft
Any visitor, guest or user may become a league member. There is no cost to register for this league. If you would like to register for the 2017 UEFL season, complete the 2017 UEFL registration and draft form. If you participated in 2016, you may use the same username from last season. Pursuant to UEFL Rules 4-7 and 6-1, users must be logged in to initiate challenges. Consult the registration and draft form for more information regarding DISQUS registration.

This season, you may draft umpires at the time of registration, or you may choose to return to the form at any time until the draft deadlines (see below timeline). Note that the UEFL will offer a preseason Draft Prospectus with statistics and other information in the coming weeks, and well in advance of the draft deadlines, if you wish to wait until that communication before drafting umpires.

If you wish to receive our weekly newsletter, please click here to subscribe to the UEFL Digest.

Registration, Draft & Roster Deadlines (all deadlines extend to 11:59 PM Pacific on indicated date):
Friday, March 24, 2017: Last Day to register for the 2017 UEFL (registration closed).
Monday, March 27, 2017: Last Day to submit unrestricted Primary & Secondary Umpires.
Friday, March 31, 2017: Last Day to submit unrestricted Crew Chief selections.

Appeals Board - UEFL Rule 6-4-a
Pursuant to League rule, the UEFL Appeals Board has been established to adjudicate disputed issues, such as Quality of Correctness. Any visitor, guest or user may become an Appeals Board member and may or may not also be a concurrent league member. The Appeals Board operates on a voluntary basis only and is a one-year term (no term limits). To apply, please access this form, and consider the following requirements:
➤ Ability to separate subjectivity from objective analysis;
➤ Extensive rules knowledge or ability to attain exceptional proficiency;
➤ Acceptance of prior and willingness to form UEFL precedent and rule interpretations;
➤ Ability to objectively analyze plays to determine, among others, Quality of Correctness;
➤ Availability to respond to the "Office of the UEFL Commissioner" in a timely fashion;
➤ Board members must abstain from ruling on plays involving drafted umpires (if applicable).
Visit the 2016 UEFL Appeals Board page for a sampling of work from the 2016 season.

Permanent Appeals Board members are: Gil (Commissioner, Chair), Jeremy (Deputy Commissioner), tmac (Assistant Commissioner), RichMSN (Charter Member). Members re-elected via the 2016 Rules Summit are: Arik G, cyclone14, Dennis, MarkCanada.
Vacancy: Seat 2 (sabbatical), Seat 9 [2 vacancies].

Appeals Board nomination and election procedures, deadlines:
Friday, March 17, 2017: Last day to submit nominations for the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
Saturday, March 18, 2017: Voting Begins.
Friday, March 24, 2017: Appeals Board voting ends, 2017 Board finalized.

If you have any questions, please post here. Registration will remain open for nearly six weeks while Appeals Board nominations will remain open for over a month. We hope you enjoy this expedited registration process for the 2017 UEFL season.