Ron Washington voiced his displeasure once again with the way MLB is now enforcing the transfer rule. In past years, if a fielder caught the ball on a force out and then dropped it while transferring it from his glove to throwing hand for a potential double play, the force out stood.
This year, though, fielders are required to establish possession with their throwing hand. If they drop the ball, the runner is safe on the force out play.
It’s a rule that has gone against the Rangers twice this season – on April 7 at Boston when Elvis Andrus dropped a ball and on Monday when J.P. Arencibia dropped a ball.
“They want to get it right [with replay] and, if you ask me, [the transfer rule] is the only part that’s not right,” Washington said. “That one issue right there has to be corrected because infielders drop balls all the time.”
Washington knew he would be ejected on Monday once he left the dugout to argue a call that had been overturned, but he wanted to make it clear that the new rule doesn’t sit well with him.
Washington, who will receive an MLB-issued fine for his automatic ejection, said he spoke with rules officials from the league office on Tuesday to further express his concern with the rule. General manager Jon Daniels also reached out to league officials about how the rule is being enforced.
“I think the replay system itself is really well done ... considering this is just the first roll out, the system is excellent,” Daniels said. “We just don’t want to see one specific play type and how it’s being handled detract from that. The rule applied literally is different than how the game has been played. It’s not a replay issue really, just a discussion about whether the transfer is being handled in a way that’s best for the game.”
Briefly• Left-hander Matt Harrison wasn’t overly pleased with his rehab start Monday for Double A Frisco in chilly Little Rock. He needed 77 pitches to get through 3 1/3 innings, and is hopeful to pitch deeper into the game on a 95-pitch limit in his next scheduled start Saturday in Frisco.
• Left-hander Joe Saunders, on the DL with a bruised left ankle, threw a 52-pitch bullpen session Monday and will go through pitchers’ fielding practice before throwing another bullpen session. He is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday.