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MLB will be going to a three-batter minimum rule in 2020 that should make it especially difficult for lefties who struggle versus righties to find work.

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5 hours ago, Moose Milligan said:

Yep, lower the time allotment.  But no, that cuts into commercials and we can't have that.

I don't understand why you couldn't have one minute of commercials that cost $5000 instead of two minutes of commercials that cost $5000.  Supply goes down, more advertisers are competing for limited spots, price goes up.  Overall revenues are the same.  But I'm just an engineer, not a business major, so I could be wrong.

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3 minutes ago, esmd said:

We'll just have to agree to disagree.  I think it's very extreme.  I get as annoyed with the Joe Girardi 5 pitch change innings as anyone else (lawd I couldn't stand him for that), but this is taking it to far to the other side of the pendulum.  It's a game-altering precedent unlike anything we've seen in recent memory.

It's game-altering on purpose.  Which is different from the game-altering that they choose to not do anything about, which happens constantly, all the time.  This must be why people are up in arms about this: it's baseball proactively trying to fix something instead of just rebranding problems as features. 

Yes, it's a game-altering precedent unlike anything we've seen in recent memory because baseball refuses to ever change any rules for any reason, even if there is a clear and obvious problem that needs fixing.  The closest we get is weaselly clarifications, like "when we said the shoulders were the top of the zone, we really meant the numbers, and we're going to tell the umps to just call it the belt.  Everyone knew that, right?"

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1 minute ago, DrungoHazewood said:

It's game-altering on purpose.  Which is different from the game-altering that they choose to not do anything about, which happens constantly, all the time.  This must be why people are up in arms about this: it's baseball proactively trying to fix something instead of just rebranding problems as features. 

Yes, it's a game-altering precedent unlike anything we've seen in recent memory because baseball refuses to ever change any rules for any reason, even if there is a clear and obvious problem that needs fixing.  The closest we get is weaselly clarifications, like "when we said the shoulders were the top of the zone, we really meant the numbers, and we're going to tell the umps to just call it the belt.  Everyone knew that, right?"

It's game-altering on purpose (I'd say strategy altering) but I think most people are shrugging their shoulders and saying, "Really?  This is going to decrease the amount of time a game is played?"

All I think it'll do is delay the amount of time a manager has to make a pitching change.  They'll still make that pitching change, just two batters later after they get the first out they're bringing their guy in for.  I can see them getting a tough out, then giving up a couple hits or a walk and a hit...and that manager is just chomping at the bit to get that guy off the mound because all he REALLY wanted this pitcher to do is to get the first guy and hope for the best for the other two following batters. 

And since he DIDN'T get those other two batters we're going to have to have another pitching change which should have taken place 5 minutes ago, but oh no, we've got this dumbass rule where he's GOTTA BE ON THE MOUND FOR AT LEAST THREE BATTERS because that's what makes the game go so long these days.  Thank goodness we've got that figured out. 

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I’ve said it a couple of times, and it remains true, this rule change will not appreciably shorten games, even if a shorter game were a worthwhile goal in the first place, which it is not.

 If pitching changes are too time-consuming, then it’s easy to shorten them. The manager can make the change from the dugout with a wave of the hand. The pitcher can warm-up in the bullpen and be given, say 45 seconds to get to the mound, for instance. I think all that is useless, but it could accomplish the time saving goal without enacting a rule that changes the fundamental strategy.

Rule changes that don’t accomplish anything aren’t worth in acting, they clutter up the rule book to no purpose.

Improving the game is different from shortening the game, and we should be seeking to improve the game. The way to improve the game and make it more interesting is to increase base runners. Four singles in an inning are much more interesting than one homerun in an inning.

this rule is stupid. It does not  accomplish the intended goal of shortening the game,  And that goal is useless anyway.

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So, from reading the thread, I see that people either:

-Think the rule change will speed up the game, and dislike watching pitchers change from batter to batter despite the strategy

-Dislike the rule change, prefer the games to be super strategic for managers and players alike

 

The obvious solution here is to meet in the middle: 2 AB minimum *unless the first strikeout by the subbed pitcher ends the inning*. This way you still have strategic switches between pitchers, keeping the strategic element behind it, but disabling continuous switching and puts a bit more strategy into the lineup card. Of course, this is all needlessly complicated, but the original rule is as well. 

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Here's some diverse opinions (and some pertinent data) from several professional commentators/journalists:

https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2019/03/14/why-three-batter-minimum-for-relief-pitchers-is-a-good-thing/

https://www.mlb.com/news/how-3-batter-minimum-will-change-baseball

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/gabe-lacques/2019/03/14/mlb-rule-changes-3-batter-minimum/3161240002/

https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/03/14/mlb-rule-changes-three-batter-minimum-home-run-derby

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/the-three-batter-minimum-is-coming-to-mlb-in-2020-and-some-relievers-are-opposed-to-the-rule-change/

===========================================================================
My originally posted opinion remains unchanged:

If MLB sticks with it, I think I'm going to like this rule.

Initially, the downside is the likelihood of a modest increase in blow-out innings.

On the plus side (at least, for me) I foresee the Increased value, development and use of pitchers who:
consistently perform with better than average command and control
are "rubber-armed" (can throw more pitches per appearance and require less rest between appearances)
are versatile -- starters who can effectively relieve and relievers who can effectively start
have very effective "trick pitches" -- ex: knuckleball

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3 hours ago, Philip said:

If pitching changes are too time-consuming, then it’s easy to shorten them. The manager can make the change from the dugout with a wave of the hand. The pitcher can warm-up in the bullpen and be given, say 45 seconds to get to the mound, for instance. I think all that is useless, but it could accomplish the time saving goal without enacting a rule that changes the fundamental strategy.

There's something to be said for all of the batter/pitcher theatrics that go on between pitches that could be done without, if the objective is to shorten games. The most recent cover of the New Yorker tells that story.

Now... you either think that's the heart and soul of baseball, or you think it's getting in the way of baseball being played.

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4 hours ago, Moose Milligan said:

It's game-altering on purpose (I'd say strategy altering) but I think most people are shrugging their shoulders and saying, "Really?  This is going to decrease the amount of time a game is played?"

All I think it'll do is delay the amount of time a manager has to make a pitching change.  They'll still make that pitching change, just two batters later after they get the first out they're bringing their guy in for.  I can see them getting a tough out, then giving up a couple hits or a walk and a hit...and that manager is just chomping at the bit to get that guy off the mound because all he REALLY wanted this pitcher to do is to get the first guy and hope for the best for the other two following batters. 

And since he DIDN'T get those other two batters we're going to have to have another pitching change which should have taken place 5 minutes ago, but oh no, we've got this dumbass rule where he's GOTTA BE ON THE MOUND FOR AT LEAST THREE BATTERS because that's what makes the game go so long these days.  Thank goodness we've got that figured out. 

Or maybe you could just use one pretty good pitcher for an entire inning (or God forbid, two) once in a while where they get three fairly routine outs.  Instead of watching the manager trot out to the mound six times in the middle of an inning in every close/late game.

Alternately we could go back to the normal MLB solution, which in this case is to say any sport that lasts less than 3-4 hours isn't a sport at all, absolving the need to try to come up with any solution at all.

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4 hours ago, Philip said:

I’ve said it a couple of times, and it remains true, this rule change will not appreciably shorten games, even if a shorter game were a worthwhile goal in the first place, which it is not.

 If pitching changes are too time-consuming, then it’s easy to shorten them. The manager can make the change from the dugout with a wave of the hand. The pitcher can warm-up in the bullpen and be given, say 45 seconds to get to the mound, for instance. I think all that is useless, but it could accomplish the time saving goal without enacting a rule that changes the fundamental strategy.

Rule changes that don’t accomplish anything aren’t worth in acting, they clutter up the rule book to no purpose.

Improving the game is different from shortening the game, and we should be seeking to improve the game. The way to improve the game and make it more interesting is to increase base runners. Four singles in an inning are much more interesting than one homerun in an inning.

this rule is stupid. It does not  accomplish the intended goal of shortening the game,  And that goal is useless anyway.

I suggested this year(s) ago.  Change pitchers as often as you'd like, but if it's in the middle of the inning he doesn't get any warmups and he has to be ready to go, already in the dugout.  It takes no more time to switch pitchers than to pinch hit.  I have no problem with that.

But I was told in no uncertain terms that the difference between bullpen mound and regular mound is so extreme that we'd have all MLB pitchers on the injured list inside of a month.  And it would only shave 8-10 minutes off the game, so as is the case with all changes, it's completely and totally insane and only people who hate baseball would even consider it.

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10 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Or maybe you could just use one pretty good pitcher for an entire inning (or God forbid, two) once in a while where they get three fairly routine outs.  Instead of watching the manager trot out to the mound six times in the middle of an inning in every close/late game.

Alternately we could go back to the normal MLB solution, which in this case is to say any sport that lasts less than 3-4 hours isn't a sport at all, absolving the need to try to come up with any solution at all.

Plenty of sporting events take 3+ hours.

I'm in the camp that doesn't have a huge problem with it.

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I don't really see how this is going to shorten games and it may actually make them longer due to more offense and scoring. I could see an increase in injuries to pitchers as it seems inevitable that they will all have to throw more pitches/innings than they are accustomed to. When you see a pitcher just doesn't have it that day, there's now no recourse except to fake an injury. Otherwise, the manager must sit back helplessly and watch that pitcher set the field on fire and potentially give away the game. I don't imagine this will go over well.

The fact that this is being done to shorten games is laughable IMO. I find it highly unlikely that this will have that effect. I find it far more likely it will make games longer, but even if it does, the change will be marginal. At least make changes that are likely to achieve the goal you set out to achieve. This feels like wild flailing in the dark to me which is par for the course with Mad Fred. (Also not a typo)

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I don’t think the amount of time this saves materially changes the length of the game as a whole.   It simply eliminates a portion of some games that is incredibly boring.    The time elapsed during pitching changes is extremely boring, and when you do it twice in five minutes, that’s my definition of ultra-boring.    And then you get managers like Girardi who do it three times in an inning without blinking.    Zzzzzzzz.......

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13 hours ago, Frobby said:

Not too many guessers, eh?    The O’s removed a reliever who faced less than 3 batters in the middle of an inning 14 times last year.    The pitcher most often used this way was Paul Fry (6 times), followed by Tanner Scott (3), Miguel Castro (2), and one each for Jimmy Yacabonis, Sean Armstrong and Tim Eshelman.   So, a total of six pitchers.

I don’t consider the 2019 Orioles as necessarily representative of what’s typical in MLB.   The O’s played relatively few close games compared to most teams, and to a large degree Hyde was in the mode of testing his pitchers’ capabilities rather than just maximizing the chance of winning each game.   I suspect if I looked at one of the recent contending O’s teams, I’d find they used this tactic far more often than the 2019 O’s.   However, I do think this sample of one suggests that maybe the tactic isn’t used as often as some assume.   

Check this out
https://www.mlb.com/news/how-3-batter-minimum-will-change-baseball

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3 hours ago, AZRon said:

Good, long discussion, but here’s the bottom line:

“There are 26 weeks in a Major League Baseball season, and we saw 779 of these appearances in 2018. That's about 28 times per week, or roughly one per team per week. It's not a lot. It's not nothing.”

So, figure 26 times per team in a season, on average.    As I expected, 14 for the Orioles in 2019 was on the low side.     

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8 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

I suggested this year(s) ago.  Change pitchers as often as you'd like, but if it's in the middle of the inning he doesn't get any warmups and he has to be ready to go, already in the dugout.  It takes no more time to switch pitchers than to pinch hit.  I have no problem with that.

But I was told in no uncertain terms that the difference between bullpen mound and regular mound is so extreme that we'd have all MLB pitchers on the injured list inside of a month.  And it would only shave 8-10 minutes off the game, so as is the case with all changes, it's completely and totally insane and only people who hate baseball would even consider it.

I hate the warmup pitches.  Why can’t the bullpen mound be the same as the one on the field?

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