Baseball Notes: Replay becoming key positions in MLB

Posted: March 23, 2014

Propped up next to a satellite production truck, peering at a laptop outside Osceola County Stadium, Cullen McRae was practicing.

Not hitting. Or pitching. Or fielding.

The son of former big-league star and manager Hal McRae was busy watching TV. Specifically, preparing for his role as a replay wizard, a video review coordinator for the Miami Marlins.

"It's cool to be a part of history," he said after Miami beat Houston, 7-2, Friday. "It's a work in progress for all of us."

Along with the rest of Major League Baseball, McRae is charging into this new world where managers can challenge calls by umpires. He comes from a baseball family - his brother, Brian, played a decade in the bigs - but the only advice he's gotten came from his mom and sister.

MLB, umpires and teams still are tweaking and tinkering with expanded replay, trying to figure out how everything works.

Before this year, replay mainly focused on potential home-run balls. Now, most every call is subject to review. Managers get one chance to contest an ump's ruling; if they're right, they get another try.

Darvish scratched

Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish has been scratched from his minor-league start because of a stiff neck.

Darvish was to throw 90-100 pitches, while Tanner Scheppers, who is auditioning for a rotation spot, was to start against Milwaukee.

Darvish says the stiffness is not as acute as he had in spring training last year. Darvish says the discomfort began two nights ago when he slept wrong. He insists this is not connected to his back problems he had at the end of last season.

Masterson is sharp

A day after contract talks with the Indians stalled, Cleveland ace Justin Masterson threw six strong innings in a 14-3 rout of the Colorado Rockies on Friday.

General manager Chris Antonetti said Friday that talks have been tabled after Masterson rejected the team's latest offer.

- Associated Press

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