Manfred says he expects to rule soon on Reyes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says he expects to rule soon on possible discipline for Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes.

Reyes was scheduled to go to trial April 4 after pleading not guilty to abusing a family or household member, a charge that stemmed from an Oct. 31 incident with his wife at a Maui resort hotel. Reyes was suspended with pay under baseball's new domestic abuse policy, an action Manfred took just before the shortstop was to report to spring training.

Hawaii prosecutors dropped charges last week and said his wife was not cooperating.

''The ability of law enforcement to provide us with information generally goes up and they have more flexibility to provide us with information once the legal process comes to an end one way or another,'' Manfred said Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.

''We're trying to take advantage of additional flexibility to get all the information that's available as quickly as possible.''

A four-time All-Star, the 32-year-old Reyes started accruing his $22 million salary Sunday, the day the MLB season opened.

If the discipline becomes an unpaid suspension, he has the right to offset the time served against the penalty, but must repay any salary he received during the paid suspension.

''I do feel some pressure on this one,'' Manfred said. ''I'd like to get the information and deal with this.''

Manfred said he is pleased with how clubs have responded by putting up additional safety netting in stadiums in an effort to increase fan safety.

At Kauffman Stadium, the Royals installed additional netting that extends toward the outfield end of each team's dugout.

''I hope that we found the right balance on the issue of netting,'' Manfred said. ''Obviously, fan safety is our first concern. And we felt that it was appropriate to make a recommendation to the clubs about safety netting.

''By the same token we do understand and appreciate that for fans, some of our very best fans that come 81 times a year, that netting is an issue, and we tried to strike an appropriate balance on the two issues.

''It is also important to remember that we focused on the issue of fan choice as well. We made more information available to the fan so that if they were concerned about the safety issues, it would be easier for them to find locations where they were protected by netting.''

Manfred repeated his stance to not change use of the designated hitter. The AL has used the DH since 1973 but the NL has not.

''I understand why in the category of neatness counts that some people would prefer to have one rule,'' he said. ''I guess I'm just not that neat a thinker. I'm perfectly fine with it.''

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