8/15/2013 8:30 P.M. ET
Gardenhire favors expanded replay minus challenges
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's in favor of Major League Baseball expanding instant replay in 2014, but questioned the new challenge system that would be put in place.
Under the new guidelines presented by MLB vice president Joe Torre to all 30 clubs on the last day of the Owners Meetings on Thursday, managers will have a much more active role in instant replay next year. But those changes still have to be voted on in the next Owners Meeting in December and will also need approval from the Players Union and umpires.
The proposed changes would allow managers to inform the umpire they want to challenge a call that doesn't involve balls or strikes. Managers will be allowed one challenge in the first six innings and two more from the seventh through the end of the game. If the manager wins the appeal, they get to keep the challenge but the challenge from the first six innings does not carry over. The current system of reviewing boundary calls for home runs will remain in place.
Gardenhire, however, said he'd prefer to see a system that has an extra umpire at the ballpark to review all calls, because he believes it would help the pace of the game and allow all calls to be properly reviewed. Under the new system, all replays will be reviewed by umpires at MLB.com headquarters in New York.
"I've said all along they should have a guy in the booth with a replay set right in front of him and he signals yes or no," Gardenhire said. "I've always thought that's the quickest way to do it. I know they've talked about it being too expensive to have another person up there, but they have people all around watching umpires anyway. So why not give them a monitor and make a decision quick instead of them having to run off the field."
Gardenhire pointed to the fact that if managers don't have any challenges left, incorrect calls could be made at critical junctures late in games. He also said the new system does nothing to improve ball and strike calls.
"That gets more arguments than anything -- balls and strikes," Gardenhire said. "And that's because umpires are given a zone where they have to call balls and strikes in. And that's the toughest part of the game for them, too, because they have to call these strikes."
Twins general manager Terry Ryan, who is a member of MLB's Playing Rules Committee, said he understands Gardenhire's concerns, but said MLB is doing its best based on the opinions of many in baseball.
"I think the important thing is we're going to try," Ryan said. "We have the technology."
Doumit passes concussion test, could return Friday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Ryan Doumit took batting practice without any issues before Thursday's game against the White Sox, and is likely to be activated from the 7-day concussion disabled list before Friday's game.
Doumit, who initially suffered the concussion when he took a foul tip off his facemask on Aug. 4, passed his ImPACT concussion test on Thursday, according to Twins general manager Terry Ryan.
But the Twins still need to get Major League Baseball's approval before Doumit is reinstated from the DL.
"Everything is pointing to an activation in the next day or two," Ryan said. "But it'll probably be tomorrow."
Mastroianni activated, optioned to Rochester
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins outfielder Darin Mastroianni was activated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, the Twins announced.
Mastroianni, who was originally placed on the DL on April 16 before having surgery on his left ankle on May 22, was 0-for-14 on his rehab assignment with Rochester. He also went 1-for-7 in three games in the Gulf Coast League and 4-for-10 in three games with Class A Advanced Fort Myers.
"He's healthy," general manager Terry Ryan said. "It's now a matter of more at-bats and more competition. He played in the Gulf Coast League, A-ball and now at Triple-A Rochester."
Mastroianni replaced fellow outfielder Aaron Hicks on the Red Wings' roster, as Hicks was placed on the 7-day Minor League disabled list on Thursday with a sore heel.
Rochester right-hander Nick Blackburn is also expected to miss the rest of the season, as he's scheduled to undergo surgery to fix a torn meniscus in his right knee on Friday. Blackburn, making $3.5 million this year in the last year of a $14 million contract signed in 2010, made just one start with Rochester. He spent most of the year rehabbing after undergoing right wrist surgery before the season.