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Two-way Players Newsbeat

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Some of the New Roster Rules Are Garbage

On Wednesday, Major League Baseball made official a handful of rule changes that had been in the works for nearly a year. In case you missed it while following the latest twists and turns of the Astros’ sign-stealing saga or the excitement of pitchers and catchers reporting, here’s the full press release, which spares us from having to retype it:

...

The three-batter minimum rule — and the existential threat it poses to lefty specialists — has been the most discussed of these changes. Our own Ben Clemens illustrated that it won’t matter all that much, a conclusion supported by Sam Miller’s examination, while other analysis such as this article by Tom Verducci and this one by Cliff Corcoran suggest it could have a negative impact.

The changes to the injured list and the service time tradeoffs that come with the permanent 26th man and the limited September roster size can bear closer analysis, but the rules that have my attention today — and this should be no surprise if you’ve been reading my work here — are the ones concerning position players and two-way players. By themselves, they won’t amount to much, and while they do close the loopholes that come with the 13-pitcher limitations on the new 26-man rosters, those are some pretty narrow loopholes to begin with. What they really do is stamp out a bit of novelty, not that the sport needs further encroachment by the Fun Police.

Traditionally, a position player pitching appearance has been a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency desperation move (generally in extra innings) or a lighthearted farce that draws attention away from an otherwise unpleasant blowout. Through some combination of higher-scoring games, higher per-game totals of relievers, concerns about reliever workloads, the reduced stigma of this particular maneuver, and — a factor I had not previously considered, but one Craig Edwards brought to light — an increasing number of noncompetitive games caused by a lack of competitive balance — the rate of such appearances has accelerated in recent years. Depending upon how you feel about the trend, last year marked either the peak or the nadir of the position player pitching phenomenon:

Maybe it’s just me, but the changes to the September call-up rules strike me as being a far bigger issue than this.

 


Thursday, February 13, 2020

MLB OKs 3-batter minimum among rule changes

NEW YORK—Major League Baseball went ahead with its planned rules changes for this season, including the requirement a pitcher must face at least three batters or end the half-inning, unless he is hurt.

The changes were agreed to by MLB and the players’ association last March 8, subject to the study of a joint committee. The three-batter minimum will start in spring training games on March 12.

There were 2,162 pitching appearances of three batters or fewer last year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, but 1,471 of them finished with the end of a half-inning or a game.

The active roster limit will increase by one to 26 from Opening Day through Aug. 31, will drop from 40 to 28 through the end of the regular season and return to 26 for the postseason. Each team may have a maximum 13 pitchers through Aug. 31 and during the postseason, and 14 from Sept. 1 through the end of the regular season.

So, how many of these changes do we hate already?

 

QLE Posted: February 13, 2020 at 12:28 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: injured list, rosters, rule changes, three-batter minimum, two-way players, video review

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Shohei Ohtani Not Expected to Pitch for Angels Until May Amid Elbow Injury Rehab

Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Tuesday two-way star Shohei Ohtani isn’t expected to pitch until mid-May as he completes his recovery from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in October 2018.

Eppler explained Ohtani will remain the club’s primary designated hitter and can rehab without being removed from the MLB roster under the league’s new rules, per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic.

The 25-year-old Japanese sensation enjoyed a strong start to his career on the mound before he suffered the major elbow injury. He posted a 3.31 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings across 10 starts in 2018, his first MLB season after five years with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan.

Ohtani made 106 appearances as the Angels’ DH in 2019. He posted a .286/.343/.505 triple-slash line with 18 home runs and 12 stolen bases. His .848 OPS would have tied for 26th in the American League if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

Something for us to get ready for…...

 

QLE Posted: February 12, 2020 at 12:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: elbow, shohei ohtani, two-way players

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani completes Tommy John rehab, eyes 2-way role in ‘20

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani has completed his throwing program, the final step in his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, and was cleared to return to his native Japan, where he will rest and recover for his anticipated return to a two-way role in 2020.

Ohtani spent the 2019 season as a designated hitter, rehabilitating from surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) elbow in October 2018. He had been throwing off a mound for more than two months before having to undergo season-ending surgery to address a rare knee condition around the middle of September, which prompted him to shut down his throwing progression for a couple of months.

The Angels did not disclose how often Ohtani threw off the mound when he restarted his throwing program. They are still working to define a blueprint for building him back up as a starter for the 2020 season.

Well, here’s hoping we have more of that two-way fun this upcoming season.

 

QLE Posted: December 21, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani, two-way players

Thursday, September 05, 2019

LEADING OFF: Strasburg vs Braves, Lorenzen does it all

DOING IT ALL

Michael Lorenzen is making himself valuable wherever the Reds need him. In his latest performance, he did something no major leaguer has done since Babe Ruth in 1921.

On Wednesday, Lorenzen earned the win as a pitcher, hit a home run and played the field as Cincinnati beat the Phillies 8-5. Lorenzen pitched two innings, connected for a two-run drive and finished up in center field.

There’s something to be said concerning versatility….

 

 


 

 

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