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Thursday, March 14, 2019

A preview of the new procedural changes coming to MLB in 2020

We’re already discussing the changes to the trade deadline- some other changes that will be coming:

The players’ union and MLB are expected to announce they have agreed, in 2020, to:

Roster expansion by one to 26, including a maximum 13 pitchers, in the regular and postseasons. After Aug. 31, rosters may grow to as many as 28, with a maximum of 14 pitchers. Previously, September rosters were allowed 40 players. The larger roster creates 30 major league jobs.

Increasing the injured list and option-recall duration for pitchers from 10 to 15 days.

The shortening of between-inning breaks at Major League Baseball’s discretion.

Extra innings of the All-Star Game would begin with a runner at second base.

Three-batter rule has been rejected, and confirmation that the pitch clock won’t be coming in 2019 or 2020.

It seems to me that most of these decisions, either of rules to change or rules not changed, are terrible- what say you?

QLE Posted: March 14, 2019 at 06:08 AM | 122 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 2020, all-star game, between innings, disabled list, manfred is thinking about it, mlbpa, rosters, rule changes, september roster expansions

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:00 AM (#5822681)
While 40 was silly, I always enjoyed seeing kids and long-serving organizational guys get their Sept call-ups. 28 just doesn't seem enough for that ... make it 30 or 32. If you're worried about too many pitchers then, fine, limit that to 14.

I hope teams don't use spot #26 on a 3rd catcher. Maybe the Cubs will carry Gore for a full year, that would at least be fun. I'm reasonably confident plenty of them will use Sept spot 28 on a 3rd C.
   2. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:04 AM (#5822682)
It's almost as if baseball is intentionally sabotaging its product at this point.
   3. Padraic Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5822686)
Not so bad, considering.

Expansion to 26 - not terrible
Pitchers limited to 13 - ok
No more 40-man - excellent!
DL back to 15 for Pitchers - excellent
Shortening of breaks - excellent!
Stupid All-Star rule: Very very dumb as an idea, but neglibable in practice
No pitch clock - terrible
No 3 batter minumum - good
No DH in NL - good
   4. JJ1986 Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5822687)
Extra innings of the All-Star Game would begin with a runner at second base.
Who the #### likes this ####?
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5822688)
Three-batter rule has been rejected, and confirmation that the pitch clock won’t be coming in 2019 or 2020.
I ####### give up. Any time there’s a list of ‘proposed’ changes, it’s super easy to tell which ones will be dropped: Just go down the list and cross off all the ones that will actually help solve the pace of play problem.
   6. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:25 AM (#5822693)
Other than the mound thing, which is worth experimenting with but not adopting yet, baseball should be played in the major leagues exactly like it is being played in the Atlantic League this year. The Atlantic League changes show definitively that the powers that be in MLB know how the game should be played going forward but they just don't have the stones or competence to simply make it happen.
   7. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5822695)
I ####### give up. Any time there’s a list of ‘proposed’ changes, it’s super easy to tell which ones will be dropped: Just go down the list and cross off all the ones that will actually help solve the pace of play problem.

The blurb I saw indicated the owners may try to impose the 3 batter rule on the players after this season. It's not over yet.
   8. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:30 AM (#5822696)
Extra innings of the All-Star Game would begin with a runner at second base.


It's pathetic that even an iota of thought was put into how the All-Star game should be played.
   9. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5822697)
It's pathetic that we have one still.
   10. jmurph Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5822701)
The blurb I saw indicated the owners may try to impose the 3 batter rule on the players after this season. It's not over yet.

Eh, I think that's a non-starter. Why would the owners fight for this over the obvious objection of their GMs and managers? Who is the constituency for the change?
   11. Rally Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5822706)
Angels start 2020 with 13 pitchers who only pitch, 12 hitters who do not pitch, and one Ohtani who DH's on opening day but is scheduled to start a few days later.

Is this a legal roster?

Is it still legal to put a backup catcher on the mound at the end of a blowout?

How does this rule affect a guy like Matt Davidson, a position player who pitched in a few blowouts but is now being considered for a dual role? How about Michael Lorenzen if the Reds decide he can be a backup outfielder / relief pitcher?
   12. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:58 AM (#5822709)
Maybe the Cubs will carry Gore for a full year,


Gore is back on the Royals.
   13. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM (#5822711)
The shortening of between-inning breaks at Major League Baseball’s discretion.

So, no shortening of between-inning breaks?
   14. Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5822715)
Let's shorten #11: what makes someone a pitcher?
   15. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5822717)
They don't belly-ache
   16. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5822720)
I think you meant to say belly-itch.
   17. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5822721)
Angels start 2020 with 13 pitchers who only pitch, 12 hitters who do not pitch, and one Ohtani who DH's on opening day but is scheduled to start a few days later.

Is this a legal roster?

Is it still legal to put a backup catcher on the mound at the end of a blowout?

How does this rule affect a guy like Matt Davidson, a position player who pitched in a few blowouts but is now being considered for a dual role? How about Michael Lorenzen if the Reds decide he can be a backup outfielder / relief pitcher?


I could be wrong, but I think the goal is to limit the number of roster spots taken up by players who only pitch. I don't think there would be any prohibition to a position player taking the mound in a blow out, or a true two way player like Ohtani. I'm sure there will be some algorithm to quantify it.
   18. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5822723)
I liked the big rosters in September and thought the infantile whining in recent years of, "Oh this team dressed 37 players for the game but this other team only dressed 32 and that's just not fair" was idiotic given that they're both playing by the same rules (can dress up to 40), just one team chose to dress fewer. A classic consensus solution by a committee to a problem that didn't exist.
   19. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5822724)
All they have to do is make teams designate their 13 pitchers, and those are the only people eligible to pitch. Not really that complicated.
   20. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5822725)
I liked the big rosters in September and thought the infantile whining in recent years of, "Oh this team dressed 37 players for the game but this other team only dressed 32 and that's just not fair" was idiotic given that they're both playing by the same rules (can dress up to 40), just one team chose to dress fewer. A classic consensus solution by a committee to a problem that didn't exist.


Precisely. September rosters where some guys got cups of coffee and fans got a chance to see prospects were one of the quirky charms of the game and presented literally zero problems. Whining about the "unfairness" of them at the same time as teams routinely deploy things like shifts that turn hard hit line drives through the box into outs is just laughably silly and preposterous.

The game is a complete mess at this point in virtually every particular. An aesthetic and competitive disaster.
   21. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5822732)
Why should a line drive up the middle be a hit? 140 years ago it would be an out. Teams and players positioned themselves back in the day and now to where they think they can be most effective. Baseball players playing baseball doesn't seem to be one of those things we should be complaining about as fans. But then again we're fans. We complain about everything given a large enough sample size.
   22. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5822736)
Why should a line drive up the middle be a hit?


Because it's an accomplishment worthy of the reward of being a hit, and was a hit for decades. Why should an American football receiver catching a pass be a catch?

Teams and players positioned themselves back in the day and now to where they think they can be most effective.


Stop it -- no they didn't. There were certain norms in place about positioning, which is why for 99.99% of plate appearances up until like four years ago there were two infielders on either side of second base. Now that the norm has changed, the rules should change -- as they would in every other sport. No other sport would permit this kind of bullshit for this long. They might not change the rule literally immediately, but it would be no more than a couple years.
   23. escabeche Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5822738)
Why should an American football receiver catching a pass be a catch?

I, for one, think a defender in football should be allowed to position themselves where they expect to be thrown, and that the quarterback shouldn't get credit for a completion just because he threw the ball firmly and accurately in the direction that would have resulted in a catch had the defender not been there.
   24. Blastin Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5822739)
I like most of these. The AS game one is dumb but who cares?

   25. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5822740)
It looks like the Atlantic League won't actually have the pitch clock, so it isn't perfect -- but it's still far better than the rules of major league baseball. Not even close.
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5822744)
The blurb I saw indicated the owners may try to impose the 3 batter rule on the players after this season. It's not over yet.
You mean, just like they've been willing to unilaterally impose the pitch clock like they've said for the past what, 4 years?
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5822746)
Because it's an accomplishment worthy of the reward of being a hit,
OK, so...a line drive right to where the shortstop would have been were it not for the shift is less of an accomplishment, and not worthy of the reward of being a hit?
   28. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5822747)
Now that the All-Star game no longer counts, I am fine with the change. There was a long extra inning game once in the “it counts” era when, iirc, JD Drew was considered for being brought in to pitch had the game gone longer. No reason for that kind of stuff to happen in an All-Star game.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5822750)
OK, so...a line drive right to where the shortstop would have been were it not for the shift is less of an accomplishment, and not worthy of the reward of being a hit?


Now you're getting it.

Don't you remember Wee Willie's famous quote: Make 'em ain't where I want to hit 'em."*

* Borrowed from another Primate.

   30. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5822751)
OK, so...a line drive right to where the shortstop would have been were it not for the shift is less of an accomplishment, and not worthy of the reward of being a hit?


Yep. It's an easy trade-off to make, one that was properly taken for granted for decades.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5822753)
Now that the All-Star game no longer counts, I am fine with the change. There was a long extra inning game once in the “it counts” era when, iirc, JD Drew was considered for being brought in to pitch had the game gone longer. No reason for that kind of stuff to happen in an All-Star game.


There's are still many better solutions than the second-base one. I'd prefer each league has a non-prospecty minor leaguer come up to sit at the end of the bench, only to be called upon if the other pitchers have all been exhausted and charged with throwing until the game ends). The minor leaguer gets a nice payday, the leagues don't have to worry about pitcher injuries or non-pitchers throwing, and I think it would be fascinating to watch some career minor leaguer try to retire a bunch of second-tier all-stars (the first stringers having long since departed).

   32. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5822754)
Don't you remember Wee Willie's famous quote: Make 'em ain't where I want to hit 'em."*


No one's interested in what some guy said in the 1890s. It's utterly irrelevant to what the rules of the sport should be in 2019.
   33. jmurph Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5822755)
I actually also think the (extreme) shift is something of an aesthetic disaster but I'm not sure it's worth a rule change. It would be something like, 2 infielders on either side of 2nd and no one outside the dirt? That would *work* but I'm not sure it's a desirable path to go down.
   34. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5822756)
I could be wrong, but I think the goal is to limit the number of roster spots taken up by players who only pitch. I don't think there would be any prohibition to a position player taking the mound in a blow out, or a true two way player like Ohtani. I'm sure there will be some algorithm to quantify it.

You're wrong. Sorry, can't copy and paste that, but it'll be out there eventually.
   35. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5822757)
Two IFs on either side of second base when the pitch is released or it's a ball. That's the Atlantic League rule (and therefore what the powers that be *want* the MLB rule to be)

So simple. So obvious. So cost-free.
   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5822758)
Yep. It's an easy trade-off to make, one that was properly taken for granted for decades.
Seems a bit arbitrary, no?
   37. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:28 AM (#5822759)
Seems a bit arbitrary, no?


Not at all. It's no more "arbitrary" than not allowing an NBA team to put a 7 foot 7 guy in the lane on defense for as long as it wants to.
   38. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:28 AM (#5822760)
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan 3h3 hours ago

They’re shortening commercial breaks to 2 minutes — even in national games — and have the option to shorten them even more in 2020. Wouldn’t surprise me to see the split-screen ad model become commonplace in baseball.


Passan also says 3 batter minimum for pitchers in 2020, but don't see it elsewhere.

---

Nothing about how they do instant replay, which should be a priority IMO. Can't do anything about shifts even if they wanted until instant replay gets cleaned up (and I'm anti-shift regulating).
   39. cookiedabookie Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5822761)
I've always thought expanded rosters would make more sense in April than in September. Give teams additional time to gauge players after spring training, give veterans a chance to earn a spot on the big league roster during the season, make players more valuable for trade based on April performance, and help with pitchers still building up their arms.

Hell, you can get rid of April off days and shorten spring training/start the season earlier if you had expanded rosters in the first month of the season. Then we could expand playoff rounds to seven games. Maybe do 30 spots (15 pitchers) through April, then the 28 spots in September.
   40. Blastin Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5822762)
Effective Immediately

There will be no trades after July 31. August trade waivers have been eliminated, though players can still be placed on and claimed from outright waivers, as they would throughout the rest of the year.
All-Star voting will still be conducted by fans online, but the top three players at each position will now participate in an All-Star Election Day.
The Home Run Derby will now come with $2.5MM of prize money, including a $1MM prize for the winner.
The maximum number of mound visits per game will be reduced from six to five.
Commercial breaks between innings are reduced to two minutes in length.

Fine with all these. I actually like most of them.

Effective Beginning in 2020

The standard roster size will increase from 25 to 26 players. Beginning on Sept. 1, roster size will expand further to a 28-player maximum (as opposed to the current 40). A maximum of half a team’s players can be pitchers.
Position players are only eligible to pitch in extra innings or when a team is leading or trailing by seven or more runs. Certain position players may be designated as “two-way players,” though to be eligible, they’ll need to have accrued at least 20 innings and started 20 games as a position player/designated hitter in his last active season (including at least three trips to the plate in each of those lineup appearances).
A pitcher must face at least three batters in his appearance unless he is removed due to injury or the half-inning in which he is pitching ends before three men have come to the plate.
The minimum requirement for pitchers who are optioned to the minors or placed on the injured list will increase from 10 days to 15 days.


25 to 26, whatever. 28 is lower than I'd want, but I don't care much.
I think the position player rule is fine.
I don't care about the three-batter rule. This will make for more blowouts if someone just doesn't have it, but, well, oh well.
15 was better in the first place.

sign me up for all of it.
   41. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5822763)
Happy about the three-batter minimum. It's kind of the most radical of all the ideas, so it's a weird way to make the sausage to adopt it but not things like the pitch clock -- but it will be a big improvement. Hopefully there will be some enforcement mechanism against the "injuries" that will likely be gamed up to avoid the rule.

Fifteen rather than 10 was important, too. Good call.

I doubt it, given the bile and whatnot, but I assume people understand a three-batter minimum is a far more radical change than requiring two IFs on either side of 2B.
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5822764)
Not at all. It's no more "arbitrary" than not allowing an NBA team to put a 7 foot 7 guy in the lane on defense for as long as it wants to.
No, your "worthiness" argument is more like saying a jumper from one side of the court is "worthy" and should be credited as a basket, but a jumper from the same distance from the other side of the court is unworthy and shouldn't be.
   43. KronicFatigue Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5822766)
I liked the big rosters in September and thought the infantile whining in recent years of, "Oh this team dressed 37 players for the game but this other team only dressed 32 and that's just not fair" was idiotic given that they're both playing by the same rules (can dress up to 40), just one team chose to dress fewer. A classic consensus solution by a committee to a problem that didn't exist.


Is that the main complaint of September rosters? MY complaint was always too many substitutions. Too many relievers coming in for 1 batter. Too many pinch runners followed by a defensive replacement.

I'd prefer a soccer style roster. Roster is x players, but you only dress x-y for a given game.
   44. Blastin Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5822769)
I'd prefer a soccer style roster. Roster is x players, but you only dress x-y for a given game.


I agree on this for September.
   45. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5822771)
It seems to me that most of these decisions, either of rules to change or rules not changed, are terrible- what say you?
If MLB came up with them, that's always the best default assumption. And yes.
   46. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5822772)
No, your "worthiness" argument is more like saying a jumper from one side of the court is "worthy" and should be credited as a basket, but a jumper from the same distance from the other side of the court is unworthy and shouldn't be.


It's nothing like that. It's like saying a 7 foot 7 guy shouldn't be able to camp out in the lane an entire defensive possession -- which there's nothing "arbitrary" about prohibiting, your initial salvo and the salvo I was addressing. If that was allowed, players would still miss outside jumpers, the logical analogue of the at-em ball to a left side with 2 IF.

Hitters for decades are and continue to be instructed to go back up the middle -- and they've endeavored to do so. I no more want that taken away by some freak defense than I want a CP3 drive to the basket taken away by a 7-7 freak camping out in the lane for an entire possession. The consistency and lack of "arbitrariness" there are blatanly obvious to those without completely closed minds.

   47. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5822773)
I could be wrong, but I think the goal is to limit the number of roster spots taken up by players who only pitch. I don't think there would be any prohibition to a position player taking the mound in a blow out, or a true two way player like Ohtani. I'm sure there will be some algorithm to quantify it.
There doesn't need to be an algorithm; it's not a government regulation. Most of the time it's going to be obvious; if it isn't, MLB makes a judgment call. Government agencies might need detailed written rules, so that there can't be lawsuits by disgruntled people, but baseball doesn't. Whatever the commissioner's office decides is binding, and if you don't like it, you can STFU. Or tweet about it.
   48. Perry Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5822774)
MY complaint was always too many substitutions. Too many relievers coming in for 1 batter. Too many pinch runners followed by a defensive replacement.


This. I was at a Dodgers-Rockies game in September that featured 13 pitchers, 7 pinch-hitters, and 2 pinch-runners. It took 3:53 to play. The final score was 4-2.
   49. jmurph Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5822776)
I really hate the 3 batter minimum, and I'm still skeptical it gets implemented but I admit I'm looking wrong about that. I'd just rather have these kinds of changes happen at the roster construction level rather than taking playing time control away from managers/teams in the heat of the game. Forcing a manager to stick with a pitcher longer than he wants strikes me as a radical change, and one we wouldn't make elsewhere. Can't make a defensive sub, or pinch hit, etc.?
   50. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5822777)
OK, so...a line drive right to where the shortstop would have been were it not for the shift is less of an accomplishment, and not worthy of the reward of being a hit?
Why are you arguing with a firmly-established troll? He doesn't believe any of the things he's saying. He's only saying them because he knows that the stupider an argument he makes, the more people he can trick into arguing with him.
   51. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5822781)
[Purported "unfairness" of different roster sizes]

Is that the main complaint of September rosters?

It certainly seems to be the noisiest complaint on MLB Network from the opposition, even among the generally sane non-Russo types.
   52. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5822784)
Forcing a manager to stick with a pitcher longer than he wants strikes me as a radical change, and one we wouldn't make elsewhere. Can't make a defensive sub, or pinch hit, etc.?
If those changes took as long as pitching changes, and the game devolved to the point where managers were making several of them per inning, absolutely those changes should be similarly limited.
   53. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5822788)
I think it would be hilarious if the next 15 All-Star games don't go to extra innings and then everyone has forgotten about this chance.


I would also like to say that everyone who hates the All-Star game seems like they hate fun.
   54. . Posted: March 14, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5822796)
But there was more to it than that. MLB first introduced the DH—initially known as a “designated pinch hitter,” or DPH—as a temporary experiment in spring training in 1969. Almost immediately, the controversial move hit a stumbling block. Montreal Expos manager Gene Mauch, ever the creative strategist, decided to test the limits of the rule: “Mauch discovered that by changing pitchers frequently and moving the replacements up in the batting order he could bring a pinch hitter to the plate eight times. He did, and the Expos clobbered Kansas City Royals in their Grapefruit League opener,” reported the Montreal Gazette. The very next day, the league issued a directive. The DH would only be allowed to replace the pitcher, and his name could not move around in the batting order.


Took MLB all of one day to eliminate this freak show "strategy."
   55. JAHV Posted: March 14, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5822799)
I'm fine with these, although they still don't have enough teeth to solve pace of play issues. They removed the pitch clock, which is the one thing that would really help with pace. Decreasing the time between innings is nice, and will reduce total game time, but won't reduce dead time when things are actually supposed to be happening.

Putting a "limit" on rostered pitchers at 13 is also a joke, since no teams are going over 13 now. Maybe they'd add a 14th with that extra roster slot, but 13 is still too many. I hoped for 11, but didn't think it would actually happen, but 12 would have been a nice compromise. With 13, we're still going to get an endless parade of faceless 98-MPH arms out of the bullpen starting in the 5th inning.
   56. jmurph Posted: March 14, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5822800)
I really hate the 3 batter minimum, and I'm still skeptical it gets implemented but I admit I'm looking wrong about that.

Well my skepticism is gone as it's officially been agreed upon my MLB and the MLBPA. Oops!

EDIT: Oops again, that one is being "unilaterally implemented by the Commissioner's office." The MLBPA did not agree to it.
   57. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5822801)
Forcing a manager to stick with a pitcher longer than he wants strikes me as a radical change, and one we wouldn't make elsewhere.
We wouldn't make It elsewhere because it isn't needed elsewhere. We already require a pitcher to face at least one batter, while not having the same rule for position players.
   58. JAHV Posted: March 14, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5822802)
I guess count me among the few who are cool with the All Star game change. I'd never want to see it during the regular season, but I'm fine with it for an exhibition. It's similar to the California tie-breaker we use in Little League games, where the offensive player who made the final out of the previous inning is put on second base with one out to begin each half inning of extra innings.
   59. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5822803)
Putting a "limit" on rostered pitchers at 13 is also a joke, since no teams are going over 13 now. Maybe they'd add a 14th with that extra roster slot, but 13 is still too many. I hoped for 11, but didn't think it would actually happen, but 12 would have been a nice compromise. With 13, we're still going to get an endless parade of faceless 98-MPH arms out of the bullpen starting in the 5th inning.
I agree with this, but… establishing the principle that MLB can limit pitcher slots on a roster is still a good thing.
   60. jmurph Posted: March 14, 2019 at 01:18 PM (#5822807)
We wouldn't make It elsewhere because it isn't needed elsewhere.

I don't think the case has been made that it's needed here, either. This is jumping to a massive change before implementing any smaller ones that we know for sure will work (like the clock).
   61. JAHV Posted: March 14, 2019 at 01:24 PM (#5822810)
I agree with this, but… establishing the principle that MLB can limit pitcher slots on a roster is still a good thing.


I agree, but do you think MLB will ever get stricter than 13 now that they've established it? I think if they were going to do that, this was the time. But maybe you're right that they want to set the precedent and will wait to restrict it further until a time when they're not pushing through other significant changes.
   62. DL from MN Posted: March 14, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5822816)
How do they enforce the 28 player limit in September? I'm sure you will have pitchers being shuffled on and off the 40 man and onto the 28 man roster throughout the month.
   63. cookiedabookie Posted: March 14, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5822831)
@62 With the 15 day transfer rule
   64. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5822870)
<i>Gore is back on the Royals.<i>

I'm aware of this, it's never stopped the Cubs before.
   65. The_Ex Posted: March 14, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5822872)
I think some marginal veterans will get released in September for non contending teams so that more kids can get a look.
   66. DL from MN Posted: March 14, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5822877)
This has to be seen as a huge win for the union. They added 30 more jobs at or above the MLB minimum, more than expanding by another team. They also reduces the prospect hoarding that can be done by taking away a slot on the 40 man roster to hide talent.
   67. McCoy Posted: March 14, 2019 at 05:43 PM (#5822884)
I would think an additional team would be more valuable for the union than 1 extra roster spot.
   68. DL from MN Posted: March 14, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5822888)
I think MLB wants to expand. That should take care of itself.
   69. bookbook Posted: March 14, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5822890)
I think every inning of the all-star game should have a different configuration:
1st inning: runners on the corners
2nd inning: 5 outfielders
3rd inning pitcher must use their off hand
4th inning: Clockwise!
5th inning: softballs
6th inning: runners on stilts
7th inning: only pitch from the stretch
8th inning: extra infielders
9th inning: stick ball
10th inning (where applicable): cricket rules
   70. Kiko Sakata Posted: March 14, 2019 at 06:32 PM (#5822899)
I think every inning of the all-star game should have a different configuration


Why not? That could be fun.

The NHL All-Star game is 3-on-3 hockey with the three periods played by entirely different rosters (well, the third period is played by the winners of periods 1 and 2). It's goofy, but, it's an exhibition game (or, in the case of the NHL, three exhibition mini-games), so why not? Screwing around with the rules of the All-Star game is about 1,000x better than actually tying something real and meaningful (e.g., home-field advantage in Game 7 of the World Series) to the results of an exhibition game.

And some of the over-reactions of people to the 3-batter rule (not here as much as on Twitter) are ridiculous. I honestly had no idea that there were people who actually liked the use of LOOGYs and ROOGYs - not, as in, "I can appreciate this strategy", but people who seem to think that it's fun to watch Joe Maddon wander out to the pitcher's mound to bring in four pitchers to face five batters in the most important inning of the most important game of the Cubs' season (see 2018 Game 163, 8th inning). I'm almost starting to wonder if some of these people ever get their noses out of their spreadsheets and actually watch baseball games. And get off my damn lawn!
   71. Sunday silence Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:03 PM (#5822916)
over/under on how long before the 3 batter rule is decried in large numbers?

Because its a bad rule. And you'll notice that as soon as your team gets burned by it. Teams are gonna get burned by this.
   72. PreservedFish Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:23 PM (#5822919)
I don't like the 3 batter rule.
   73. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5822922)
3rd inning pitcher must use their off hand


Dave Roberts is going to select Venditte just to pitch the third inning.
   74. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 14, 2019 at 09:33 PM (#5822923)
I think MLB wants to expand. That should take care of itself.


Lol, no. I strongly doubt we'll have expansion within the next 10 years (tough to say anything about longer out). The next city to demonstrate itself viable could get the A's. Then you need two more to get expansion.
   75. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5822933)

I think major changes like the 3-batter minimum should have been tested somewhere before they were committed to in MLB. I thought that was the whole purpose of the Atlantic League thing.

I know they can still change it if the Atlantic League trial reveals unintended consequences, but having announced it beforehand will make that less likely.
   76. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:13 PM (#5822939)
The Home Run Derby will now come with $2.5MM of prize money, including a $1MM prize for the winner.

That's a start, but given the popularity of the Home Run Derby, the payout should probably be even higher. Could be interesting if the incentive is sufficient to get the top HR hitters every year.
   77. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:21 PM (#5822940)
Because its a bad rule. And you'll notice that as soon as your team gets burned by it. Teams are gonna get burned by this.
Wins and losses are zero sum.
   78. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:23 PM (#5822941)
It's such a bad rule that I want to think they announced it so they can give it up in the upcoming labor negotiations.

But I'm not sure that teams will be burned by it in close games that often. Rather, I think it will cause managers fetishize the "clean entrance" for relievers, and let almost no starters start a third time through the order. Changing pitchers with runners on base will simply be too risky.

If MLB responds to that development by reducing the pitcher limit, then we'll get some kind of hell-or-high-water tandem system. A lot of relievers have enough pitches to handle twice through or one and a half times through. The next development in pitcher usage might be for teams to realize that a lot of the pitchers who couldn't be starters can get through an order twice, just not three times. So a lot of one-inning guys could probably be equally effective as three-inning guys. And they won't necessarily need more than two days off in between three-inning stints--since teams think that players over 30 aren't worth having (a caricature, to be sure), they won't be afraid to burn them out during their years of control. Three groups of four guys is how they could handle a 12-man limit. I don't think they would dare going below 12.

We'll also see a few forfeits when teams that aren't trailing by 7 runs decide they don't want to have any more of their pitchers throw any more pitches. I wonder how large of a fine there would have to be to make a team subject one of their assets to the embarrassment of throwing meatballs up to get whacked until they trail by 7 and can bring in an outfielder.
   79. PeteF3 Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:59 PM (#5822942)
Can I get a specific clarification as to when the 3-batter rule was adopted? The original post says it was rejected, but now people are talking as if it's a done deal.
   80. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 15, 2019 at 12:35 AM (#5822944)
Tony LaRussa supposedly toyed with the idea of having a 3-man rotation in which guys only threw 60 pitches per outing as pitches get increasingly taxing through the game. You’d also get to eliminate the “throw sessions” which use up pitches outside of game situations. Pitchers can still get well over 200 innings by getting 54 starts and averaging 4 innings per start. The reason he never went through with it is that his starters didn’t like the idea of not being eligible for a win since they’ often only go 4 innings. Now managers have started experimenting with openers, which is kind of a loophole around that. I see the opener as a potential springboard to a short rotation in which guys never face a batter three times in a game.
   81. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 15, 2019 at 01:36 AM (#5822946)
I do too, and I think the three-batter rule will accelerate that development rather than head it off.
   82. KJOK Posted: March 15, 2019 at 01:37 AM (#5822947)
This has to be seen as a huge win for the union. They added 30 more jobs at or above the MLB minimum, more than expanding by another team. They also reduces the prospect hoarding that can be done by taking away a slot on the 40 man roster to hide talent.


30 roster slots times 5 months = 150 months added for April thru August.

3 roster slots (approx on average) cuts for 1 month for 30 teams = 90 months subtracted.

So it's more like 12 more jobs on net.



   83. Rusty Priske Posted: March 15, 2019 at 09:24 AM (#5822974)
A 3 batter minimum would be the best change since the DH, and just as dividing.

As far the ASG... IT IS AN EXHIBITION GAME! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH A TIE!
   84. . Posted: March 15, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5822977)
I do too, and I think the three-batter rule will accelerate that development rather than head it off.


But the development can't be headed off because the numbers on the third time through the order speak for themselves.

I'll simply say what I said a couple years ago. The fundamental problem here is that Moore's Law has enabled the game to be hacked. The rules of the sport are very simplistic, and true strategic decisions comparably minimal. It's entirely an enterprise of discrete events whose impact can be precisely measured. It's fair to think of that relative simplicity as elegant, but it also made the game far easier to be hacked.

The eclipse of the starting pitcher has made and will make the game less appealing and there's no serious aesthetic argument to the contrary.(*) Nothing can really be done to put that toothpaste back in the tube, though. It's a very unfortunate dilemma.

(*) No remotely similar comp in other sports comes to mind. The fullback has essentially disappeared from football, and basketball (pro, anyway) has been hacked to the point where mid-range jump shots have diminished rather dramatically -- but neither of these is really close to the eclipse of the starting pitcher in baseball.
   85. . Posted: March 15, 2019 at 09:49 AM (#5822980)
I'd actually extend the observations in 84 beyond just baseball to public life generally, especially in the wake of the sickening NZ atrocity broadcast live to voyeurs everywhere. The pre-Internet world, with its mysteries and unknowingness and inefficiencies and universalists, was net-net a better place. Ruthless efficiency and immediate knowingness have nothing whatever to commend themselves and are recipes for dystopia. Which is essentially what we have now.

   86. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: March 15, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5823030)
   87. A triple short of the cycle Posted: March 15, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5823064)
Teams are gonna get burned by this.

It's the LOOGYs who will be affected. They will go from a necessity to a liability. Any reliever with significant platoon splits will be a liability - they will be exposed to pinch hitters. This will also encourage managers to alternate R and L in the batting order.
   88. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 15, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5823067)
Tony LaRussa supposedly toyed with the idea of having a 3-man rotation in which guys only threw 60 pitches per outing as pitches get increasingly taxing through the game. You’d also get to eliminate the “throw sessions” which use up pitches outside of game situations. Pitchers can still get well over 200 innings by getting 54 starts and averaging 4 innings per start. The reason he never went through with it is that his starters didn’t like the idea of not being eligible for a win since they’ often only go 4 innings. Now managers have started experimenting with openers, which is kind of a loophole around that. I see the opener as a potential springboard to a short rotation in which guys never face a batter three times in a game.


LaRussa's 1993 Athletics tried it for about a week.
   89. jmurph Posted: March 15, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5823068)
I'm gonna die on this hill until it is officially in place:
Jayson Stark @jaysonst
A wrinkle to MLB’s new rules I hadn’t heard before today: The 3-batter minimum will be tested in the minor leagues this year. Since it doesn’t take effect until 2020, it can still be tweaked if unintended consequences emerge.

Back in on my prediction that it doesn't happen as currently written.
   90. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 15, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5823071)
3 batter minimum is terrible.

The rest of the changes are reasonable in that they don't change the on-field game, merely the roster construction.

   91. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5823074)
Back in on my prediction that it doesn't happen as currently written.
It's not gonna happen. Manfred will be spineless and pathetic on this just like all other meaningful changes.
   92. jmurph Posted: March 15, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5823079)
It's not gonna happen. Manfred will be spineless and pathetic on this just like all other meaningful changes.

Good lord, settle down. This is an idea that had no currency until like a week ago.
   93. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5823085)
Has Manfred given us any reason to believe he won't back down? Manfred on meaningful changes is like trying to fly out of O'Hare on a day with inclement weather. First they tell you your flight will be delayed by half an hour, then an hour, then 3 hours, and then eventually they cancel it. But you know exactly where it's going to end up the minute you find out about the first delay.
   94. Sunday silence Posted: March 15, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5823088)
No one wants to see a pitcher who clearly has no control or nothing on his pitches have to stand up there and get bombed. Well except of course the team that's teeing off on him, I guess. There's nothing aesthetically pleasing about that.

I guess he can fake an injury and then take himself out for the next ten days/championship series/whatever.
   95. Greg Pope Posted: March 15, 2019 at 06:51 PM (#5823091)
No one wants to see a pitcher who clearly has no control or nothing on his pitches have to stand up there and get bombed.

Right. Which is why the pitch clock would be way better.

Do the people in charge really not see this? I get that it's somewhat subtle if you're not looking for it. Commercial breaks are easy to notice and complain about their length. Mid-inning pitching changes are also easy to identify. But they're not the largest problem. Obviously the pitch clock has been brought up, but keeps getting shoved aside.
   96. JAHV Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:35 PM (#5823093)
No one wants to see a pitcher who clearly has no control or nothing on his pitches have to stand up there and get bombed.


Right. Which is why the pitch clock would be way better.

Do the people in charge really not see this? I get that it's somewhat subtle if you're not looking for it. Commercial breaks are easy to notice and complain about their length. Mid-inning pitching changes are also easy to identify. But they're not the largest problem. Obviously the pitch clock has been brought up, but keeps getting shoved aside.


I agree with both of these points, but I will ask: can a pitcher really "get bombed" in three batters? Three runs for a reliever is bad, but it's not like that doesn't happen often already.

That said, implementing a damn pitch clock and reducing pitchers on the roster to 11 or 12 would both be better solutions.
   97. Sunday silence Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:11 PM (#5823095)
Are the minor leagues really the best place to test this out? i havent seen many minor league games but my impression is that they are mostly testing out players and combos and such, and they dont really have many designated LOOGYs or other specialist one batter pitchers. Do they really have many 1 or 2 AB pitchers?
   98. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:36 PM (#5823097)
can a pitcher really "get bombed" in three batters?
Exactly. People are acting like he would have to get three outs no matter how many runs he gave up. That's not the rule. Three batters, that's it.
   99. Sunday silence Posted: March 16, 2019 at 12:33 AM (#5823108)
Pitchers come in all the time and have no control or no velocity. You are forced to leave them in there in a crucial game and they give up two walks and an extra base hit in a crucial situation. You would not like that if its your team, and if youre just a casual fan it still strikes me as BS.
   100. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 17, 2019 at 11:41 PM (#5823369)

You are forced to leave them in there in a crucial game and they give up two walks and an extra base hit in a crucial situation.
Oh well?
You would not like that if its your team, and if youre just a casual fan it still strikes me as BS.
You know what's even worse? When the team puts in a pitcher in a crucial situation and he gives up a walk, so they pull him for another pitcher and he gives up a walk, so they pull him for another pitcher and he gives up an extra base hit. IOW, your argument is just dumb. Of course nobody would like it if their team gives up baserunners/runs in a crucial situation. But that has nothing to do with this rule. I mean, yes, every so often you'll get a debacle where the pitcher throws eight straight pitches nowhere near the strike zone and then gets pounded by the next batter. Sometimes that'll help your team, sometimes hurt. You'll like the former, not the latter.
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