The trial video review procedures will include unlimited challenges and an encouragement to the managers to test the process at least every three innings - on any calls other than balls and strikes.
The special AFL process is different from the potential MLB implementation, which would give each manager one challenge over the first six innings and two from the seventh inning on. Challenged calls would be reviewed and ruled from MLB headquarters in New York City. In the AFL, however, all decisions will be made in the booth at the ballpark, while in direct radio communication with the home plate umpire.
Fans will also benefit since the video needed for the replay process has led to televising the five games at which the testing will occur. Even better for St. Louis Cardinals prospect watchers is that four of the five contests will feature the Salt River Rafters.
That club, managed by Springfield skipper Mike Shildt, features seven Cardinals prospects, including Tuesday night's starter Sam Gaviglio. Other pitchers are relievers Anthony Ferrara, Dean Kiekhefer and Lee Stoppelman. Position players are infielder Jacob Wilson plus outfielders Stephen Piscotty and James Ramsey.
Salt River games to be televised on MLB Network this week will all begin at 7:05 p.m. MST, except Saturday which will be at 6:10 MST.
Tuesday, Nov. 5: Mesa Solar Sox at Salt River
Wednesday, Nov. 6: Salt River at Scottsdale Scorpions
Thursday, Nov. 7: Scottsdale at Salt River
Saturday, Nov. 9: Peoria Javelinas at Salt River
Special Assistant to the Commissioner Tony La Russa will be in Arizona for the testing as will MLB umpiring officials. Daily evaluations will occur with potential changes being implemented in-flight. These experiences could also influence the final MLB product to go into place next season.
On the eve of testing, I spoke with Shildt, one of the two people in the park eligible to initiate the replay process.
Coming soon: This is the first in a series of ten interviews with the seven Cardinals prospects competing in the 2013 Arizona Fall League prefaced by Shildt assessing how his hitters and position players are progressing this fall. Look for them in the upcoming days, exclusively at The Cardinal Nation.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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