Nationals Arm Race

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Archive for September, 2022

Changes are a-coming for 2023

13 comments

Today, the MLB competition committee voted in three rule changes to go into effect in 2023. One is minor, but two are significant, major changes that will alter the sport.

Here’s a couple other opinion pieces on them, from the Athletic and Baseball America, but below i’ll put in my two cents.

Larger Bases, Pitch Clocks, and Shift Bans are going in. Lets talk about them one by one.

  • Bigger Bases: a non-issue, i’m not sure why anyone would really care about a slightly larger base. They avoid injuries and slightly help the running game. Studies show base-related injuries are down 13.8% since the larger bases were installed. And not surprisingly both the executives and players on the committee voted for this unanimously.
  • Pitch Clocks. I know current major league pitchers are going to whine about them. But the results speak for themselves: The average time of games in the minors where the pitch clock was implemented went from 3:04 in 2021 to 2:38 in 2022. That’s 26 minutes … ALL of it dead time watching the pitcher and batter stand there, waiting for the next pitch. This is a fantastic move that will have serious, positive watchability impacts on the game.
  • Defensive Shift bans: two players must now stay between 2nd and 3rd base (meaning, no more roving third baseman into short RF against lefties), and all players must have their feet on the dirt. The evidence supporting this change is pretty clear: as documented by Jayson Stark in this Feb 2022 piece, 4,802 hits were taken away by the shift in 2021, which is countered by 3,946 outs given away by shifts that gave away a standard ground ball. That’s nearly 1,000 extra hits gone from the game, primarily against left-handed hitters. So, this change will absolutely return some offensive parity to the game.

I like all three changes. I look forward to them in 2023.

Written by Todd Boss

September 9th, 2022 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Nats in General