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Pitch Clocks Newsbeat

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Are Pitch Clocks Coming To MLB? Here’s What 19 Executives Had To Say

Astros general manager James Click: “I think we all want a little bit more pace to the game and I think if we were to implement a pitch clock, I don’t know how many pitchers it would actually affect. A lot of guys keep a pretty good pace already. But I also want to make sure we think through how it affects the fielders, how it affects the batter, how it affects the catcher. If we’ve got runners on base and we need to go through signs, if a guy needs to step out and get the signs from the third base coach, there’s a lot of that communication and things that go on between pitches in a major league game. So making sure that we haven’t lost sight of those is critical when we’re making those decisions.”

Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto: “I think (all of the rules changes) are interesting, but the time clock, the pitching clock, has always been something I’ve been interested in because it’s something that we’ve slowly been implementing over time in baseball. I think that has a chance to really be a positive in both time of game and the action that we’re seeing on the field, which is what we’re trying to get to as an industry, a more interesting game.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 11, 2021 at 12:05 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch clocks

Thursday, October 21, 2021

MLB Just Tried a Bunch of Experimental Rules in the Minors. How Well Did They Work?

No experimental rule generated more trepidation this year than the Atlantic League’s MLB-driven decision to move the mound back by a foot from the strangely sacrosanct distance of 60 feet, 6 inches. There were real reasons to think this change would reduce strikeouts and that the decision was long overdue: It’s worked at various points in the past, in the majors and elsewhere, and pitchers are much bigger and harder-throwing than they were when the current pitching distance was set in 1893. There were also some suggestions that pitchers might benefit from increased pitch movement over a farther flight. Finally, there were fears that the change in distance would cause a spike in injuries, a concern that scuttled a plan to push the mound back by two feet in the Atlantic League in 2019, and nearly incited a revolt this season in the lead-up to the move on August 3.

“Initially, obviously, there was some negative reaction, just because it was a change and a change that some people viewed as kind of fundamental to the game,” Martinez says. “I would say the overall opinion after a little while with it was that it didn’t make a huge difference. You really didn’t hear a lot of grumbling, and most of the players and staff that we’ve been talking to have said that after a series or two, nobody even really talked about it anymore. I think it was a lot less disruptive than maybe people thought it was going to be. … Hitters said that timing was essentially the same.”

Stem backs up Martinez’s take, describing the mound move as “not a huge deal at all.” The veteran righty adds, “That’s the one that everybody was freaking out about, and once it was done, and after that first week when everybody quit talking about it, it was completely unnoticeable.” No pitch type’s usage rate shifted up or down by even 1.5 percentage points, and the average four-seamer release speed budged only slightly, increasing by about a quarter of a mile per hour.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 12:06 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive shifts, mound distance, pitch clocks, robo ump



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