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Commissioner Rob Manfred talks speed of play; DL stats released

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Manfred on uptick in homers (1:10)

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says the way the game is being played is leading to the increase in home runs and that change in that would need to happen "naturally." (1:10)

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred -- speaking before Tuesday's AL wild-card game, won by the New York Yankees in 3 hours, 51 minutes -- addressed the game's pace of play.

His office also released details on the use of the disabled list.

Manfred said he has had encouraging conversations about the pace of play with the players' union, and that while there are no specifics on a deal, there is hope for a "meaningful" agreement. The average time of a nine-inning game in the majors rose 4½ minutes this season to a record 3 hours, 5 minutes, 11 seconds. The major league average in 2015 was 2 hours, 56 minutes.

Last offseason, the players rejected the league's proposed changes, which included restricting catcher trips to the pitcher's mound, a 20-second pitch clock and adjusting the bottom of the strike zone. The league does have the ability to implement those rules without player approval next season.

The league also released statistics about the use of the shortest disabled list. There were 626 uses of the 10-day DL this season, up from 512 placements on the 15-day DL last season, according to the commissioner's office. Use of the 60-day DL was just about the same at 45, up from 43 in 2016.

Some clubs used the 10-day DL to add players around the time of the four-day All-Star break by disabling starting pitchers after their outings.

"I think the concept of a 10-day DL was a good one," Manfred said at the All-Star break. "It gave clubs additional flexibility to deal with injuries.

"Unfortunately, and we saw some of this right around the All-Star break, any new rule, our guys figure out a way to manage to it," he added. "I don't like some of the activity that's gone on in terms of the use of the 10-day DL and we're having conversations about that internally."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.