Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Article: Video: Willians Astudillo Just Took Jose Berrios...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:22 PM
BASEBALL IS BACK.On the first day of full squad workouts this year, the Twins open up Hammond Stadium for an open house. Fans can walk al...
Full topic ›

Article: A Guide To (And Plea For) Attending Twins Spring...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:44 PM
I don’t remember which year I first attended spring training, but I remember the exact date when I decided I would never miss it again: F...
Full topic ›

Article: TD 2019 Top Minnesota Twins Prospects Recap

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:15 PM
The Minnesota Twins have made it clear: they're relying on their own internal pipeline, rather than transformative outside additions, to...
Full topic ›

Article: Who's on First? Cron's No Sure Thing

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:53 PM
We never expect players signings not to work - but some of them just don’t. Last year was a lesson for Twins fans in that sense, with big...
Full topic ›

Twins stuff from around the Web (Fangraphs, Twitter, Athl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:53 PM
Per request.....new thread! this seems like a really odd post to start with, which makes sense for a thread about the Twins and Internet....
Full topic ›

Possible MLB Rule Changes: Universal DH? Roster size? Anti-tanking?

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Union are always searching for ways to improve the game. Under MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, one of the biggest focuses has been pace of play. How can baseball speed up their games and keep younger fans interested in the action on the field?

Some of the latest proposals by MLB and the MLBPA could help to alleviate some of the issues.
Image courtesy of © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Three-batter minimum
This rule would result in a pitcher being required to pitch to a minimum of three batters upon entering a game. For teams, this could significantly reduce the number of pitching changes made by managers. It could also speed up games for team’s that like to change pitchers in the middle of an inning. During last year’s playoffs, the Brewers used left-handed pitcher Wade Miley for one batter before replacing him with right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff. This type of move wouldn’t be possible under this possible rule change.

Universal designated hitter
The MLBPA continues to push for a universal DH and they would like to have it in place for the 2019 season. That seems highly unlikely at this point. Offensive has been down across baseball so adding a DH in the National League could add some more offensive to the game. However, none of these teams have been preparing to add a DH to their roster. I believe this rule will happen at some point, but I don’t think it will be in place for the 2019 season.

20-second pitch clock
One of the rules proposed by MLB last year was the implementation of a 20-second pitch clock. Manfred could put this rule in to affect for the 2019 campaign. Pitch clocks have been used in the minor leagues, so some players have already started to be accustomed to having them as part of the game. I think the pitch clock is coming and it might be happening for the current season.

Mound visits
Another rule that MLB can implement this year is reducing the number of mound visits from six to five. In their most recent proposal, MLB would like to reduce mound visits from six to four in 2019. Then in 2020, they would like the number of mound visits to be reduced to three. This seems like a large jump over a two-year span and I think the MLBPA will try to slow this process down.

Roster size
MLB would also like to expand rosters to 26 players starting in 2020. Along with that, they would like to reduce September rosters from 40 to 28. Expanding rosters from 25 to 26 would create 30 more big-league jobs and allow teams to be strategic as to what type of player they would like to have on the roster. Do they want another arm in the bullpen? Do they want a power bat for the bench? I don’t like the idea of reducing September roster sizes. We already see teams manipulate service time without using September call-ups and this seems like another way for teams to do that.

Anti-tanking
One of the ideas the player’s union would like addressed is the idea of teams tanking over multiple years to get a higher draft pick. In recent memory, the Astros did this to acquire high picks over multiple years. From this, they have built a very strong roster. The union would like a team’s draft position to be lowered if the club fails to reach a certain number of wins across multiple seasons.

What rule changes would you like to see? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

  • nclahammer and caninatl04 like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

141 Comments

 

I'm for the pitch clock.

 

Universal DH needs to happen.There are only emotional arguments for having pitchers bat (like, "that's how it's always been", "I like it better") whereas it's an objective fact that having pitchers hit leads to terribly unathletic/non-competitive moments in games.Any arguments about "strategy" really boil down to one thing - in the NL, you try really hard not to have those moments happen.All you're strategically doing is avoiding the thing you say you want to keep around - pitchers hitting.

 

So just do away with it.AL managers still use the hit and run and (too often) the bunt.They just use those strategies in an effort to score runs rather than desperately avoid some hack with a .150 batting average.

 

 I am totally with you.Everyone wants to see mighty Casey bat whether he hits a home run or strikes out. The raw emotion of that moment, the suspense, the glimmer of hope, beats a pitcher coming to bat.Yeah, yeah strategy and all that is fine for the mind-numbing numbers people but for shear excitement take the DH.

 

Mighty Casey

I know that the players would like to impose penalties to teams with a bad record, but I suspect that the league would counter with hard salary caps and floors, and they will not like it a bit.  

Those things have to go together.

    • LA VIkes Fan likes this

 

First, I don't think the pace of play is a problem. Were it, I don't think any of the proposed rule changes will affect the pace of play enough to address the "problem". Shortening the overall game length by five or so minutes will not make the game any more appealling to people who already think that baseball is boring. They will not notice any difference.

Pace isn't just a problem of game length. It's also about too frequent periods of inaction. Baseball has always been a languid summer's pastime, but it hasn't always had every pitcher and batter milking 30+ seconds between every pitch all season long. It can still be the languid summer pastime even if we curb players of that excess.

 

That time between pitches can add up to a lot more than 5 minutes per game. I know I've linked this a few times already, but seriously it should be required reading on the subject:

 

https://www.sbnation...iew/game-length

 

And it's not just about appealing to fans who find the current game boring. I love baseball -- but I would absolutely go to more games, and watch more games on TV, if games were a half hour shorter on average but packed in the same amount of action. (And even more time than that could be shaved off postseason games.)

 

If you're wondering why, note that I like to bring along my small kids when I go to a game, and I'm more likely to do that if it's easier to keep them engaged in what's happening on the field, and I'm less likely to egregiously break their bedtime. Similar concerns when I try to watch games on TV with some elderly relatives. Also for postseason viewing parties -- it's a bit hard to convince guests to come to my house for 4+ hours on a weeknight, when they don't even have to do that for football games.

    • Dman, dougd and HrbekRules like this

 

A diffinitive characteristic of baseball, in contrast to other team sports, is that there is not clock or timer. While all of the other major team sports rely on a clock as a necessary part of the structure that makes their sport possible, baseball was uniquely designed and created to not need one. Keep clocks out of baseball.

But there is a clock in baseball -- we just don't see it. The game could go on forever, but batters, pitchers, and coaches have never been allowed to take infinite time to perform their tasks within the game.

 

This clock is technically already in the rule book, but it's left to umpire discretion -- which has proven to be extremely ineffective. And I don't blame umpires -- the pace of the players has been slowing gradually, and umpires have enough on their plate without suddenly having to hassle every player between every pitch too.

 

If it was up to me, I'd put a clock on each dugout rail, visible to pitcher, batter, catcher, and umpire, but out of view from TV cameras and most fans. A ball or strike would be automatically assessed for a clock violation, and players will soon be trained to perform within the normal pace of the game, as defined by the first 100+ years of MLB history and every other level of competition in the sport -- minors, college, high school, etc. There's nothing natural or traditional about the pace of players in modern MLB.

    • Mike Sixel, SD Buhr and Dman like this

Want to end tanking? Put relegation, like in Premier league in soccer. Worst team is out of MLB. (Can play in a lesser league). A variation could be the worst team of the last three years, or something like that. I know owners would never agree to that, but it is a sure way to end the tanking.

    • FlauerPauer likes this
Photo
FlauerPauer
Feb 06 2019 03:06 PM

Universal DH - No - I actually enjoy watching the Twins pitchers hit during inter-league play.

 

26th Man - Yup - Maybe even make it 27.Definitely not interested in the 28 roster for September.

 

Pitch clock - Yup - What happens when a pitcher is close to the end of the clock and steps off to get a new pitch clock? 

 

Mound Visits - No - Eventually only three mound visits? What's stopping the pitcher from stepping off the mound and walking to the foul line and talking with the coach?

 

Three Batter Minimum - No - I think the matchups are intriguing.That's what makes baseball special.

 

Anti-Tanking - No - If teams want to tank, let them. At the end of the day, fans will stop showing up and that ends up hurting the owners pockets. I don't even know how you'd quantify "tanking".I mean the Royals were absolutely terrible during the mid 2000's and I don't think they were losing on purpose; they just had terrible players outside of Mike Sweeney. Their player development was poor and thus they didn't bring high level talent to the MLB club.

 

I'd like to see MLB institute a minimum payroll. There should be no reason that owners are allowed to pocket the revenue sharing money and not invest that into their team.If you can't afford to spend $65 million on your baseball team, you don't deserve to have one, lol

 

If they really wanted to get new, younger audiences, they’d make it easier for fans to watch games outside of typical cable TV packages. As soon as they can figure out how to make the same or more money doing that as they do with Comcast deals, the younger fans will come. No one under the age of 30 uses regular broadcast television as their main source of entertainment anymore. That’s where the league needs to evolve. I should be able to watch my hometown team on any device I choose, anywhere I choose, at any time I choose.

That's already pretty easy for most fans of the Twins (and other teams on Fox regional networks). Sling includes Fox Sports North for $25 a month. That's only $150 for the whole season, with no contract -- so fans can sign up late or drop early and save even more money if they like. Sling is available on most devices, but you can also use your Sling credentials to log in to the Fox Sports Go app on virtually every platform.

 

Yes, it would be easier if they simply charged $270 for MLB.TV with no blackouts. But most Twins fans can achieve the equivalent of that already with Sling (or save $120 if they don't need the out-of-market games). A problem is still around the edges of "Twins Territory" like in Iowa. Sling and other streaming services don't always deliver the user's preferred Fox affiliate in those areas. Would be nice to clean that up.

Three batter minimum seems ridiculous. But if rosters go to 26, you'll have to do something drastic like that.

 

Don't think for one second that that spot wont go...eventually...to yet another pitcher. That's what the data will tell you to do with it...use as many pitchers per game as the rules will allow, given the roster constraints. Ease the roster constraints...use more pitchers. Ugh! Please no!

 

Pitch clock - Yup - What happens when a pitcher is close to the end of the clock and steps off to get a new pitch clock? 

With no runners on base, I wouldn't allow them to do this. With runners on, I think I'd require a pickoff throw.

Photo
IndianaTwin
Feb 06 2019 03:26 PM

 

It doesn't solve all your problems, but reddit streams are a beautiful way to say "screw you" to sports leagues and get to watch your favorite teams.

 

Could you start a "Reddit for Dummies" stream? 

Photo
biggentleben
Feb 06 2019 03:36 PM

 

Pace isn't just a problem of game length. It's also about too frequent periods of inaction. 

 

Then no one should ever watch football. The ball is in play for roughly 7-12 minutes of an average 3 hours on a Sunday. There's more than just the "lack of activity" as any baseball fan knows there's constant activity between pitches going on, just like there is between plays in football.

Photo
biggentleben
Feb 06 2019 03:38 PM

 

Want to end tanking? Put relegation, like in Premier league in soccer. Worst team is out of MLB. (Can play in a lesser league). A variation could be the worst team of the last three years, or something like that. I know owners would never agree to that, but it is a sure way to end the tanking.

 

Nah, teams put enough value into their draft picks that if you threaten the draft picks, international pool money, AND revenue sharing money for teams that don't spend to a certain level, you'd get a pretty universal response.

Photo
biggentleben
Feb 06 2019 03:40 PM

 

With no runners on base, I wouldn't allow them to do this. With runners on, I think I'd require a pickoff throw.

 

This is the case in the minor leagues. You barely notice the pitch clock at all.

 

The extra inning rules, on the other hand....

The one rule I have always wanted is that ALL players must go through the draft process.Teams being able to bid on foreign players that have never played for an MLB team is unfair to small market teams.

Photo
TheLeviathan
Feb 06 2019 04:08 PM

 

Then no one should ever watch football. The ball is in play for roughly 7-12 minutes of an average 3 hours on a Sunday. There's more than just the "lack of activity" as any baseball fan knows there's constant activity between pitches going on, just like there is between plays in football.

 

I'm not sure many people would agree with you that the time between plays in football is at all comparable to the time between action in baseball.  

 

If you count a football play vs. an outcome to an at-bat there is FAR more downtime in baseball.If you're trying to count a football play to the time between pitches....then you're unfairly comparing apples to oranges.

    • Danchat likes this

 

Then no one should ever watch football. The ball is in play for roughly 7-12 minutes of an average 3 hours on a Sunday. There's more than just the "lack of activity" as any baseball fan knows there's constant activity between pitches going on, just like there is between plays in football.

Comparing to football is apples and oranges. It's a whole different experience.

 

Within the context of baseball, there is no "activity" between pitches with no one on base that can't easily fit within 20 seconds.

Photo
TheLeviathan
Feb 06 2019 04:11 PM

 

 I am totally with you.Everyone wants to see mighty Casey bat whether he hits a home run or strikes out. The raw emotion of that moment, the suspense, the glimmer of hope, beats a pitcher coming to bat.Yeah, yeah strategy and all that is fine for the mind-numbing numbers people but for shear excitement take the DH.

 

Mighty Casey

 

Thing is, it's not really "strategy".I can't think of a comparable analogy in another sport, but it'd be like forcing your kicker to play QB for a play and teams punt the play before just to avoid the awfulness of it.That's what most of the vaunted NL strategy boils down to: how do we give up outs or topsy-turvy our lineup to avoid this awful thing that isn't at all like actual baseball.

    • Dman likes this
To help pace of play, lower price of beer.
DH I'm torn. One of my favorite moments at a Twins game was seeing Ervin Santana clear the bases in San Francisco.I enjoy watching pitchers hit. But I also don't mind the idea of 15 more mashers who would have otherwise been out a job.
I wish service time and arbitration would change dramatically. I'm all for a much more incentives and bonuses based contract structuring system.

 

Want to end tanking? Put relegation, like in Premier league in soccer. Worst team is out of MLB. (Can play in a lesser league). A variation could be the worst team of the last three years, or something like that. I know owners would never agree to that, but it is a sure way to end the tanking.

 

I'm sure tv would keep paying the same...

 

This just isn't realistic at all.

 

The one rule I have always wanted is that ALL players must go through the draft process.Teams being able to bid on foreign players that have never played for an MLB team is unfair to small market teams.

 

I'd rather teams had a pool of money to spend, and they can bid using that pool. Drafts are inherently bad for player income.

 

Then no one should ever watch football. The ball is in play for roughly 7-12 minutes of an average 3 hours on a Sunday. There's more than just the "lack of activity" as any baseball fan knows there's constant activity between pitches going on, just like there is between plays in football.

 

Of course, we get three angles of replays, so it seems like there is action......

 

But, sit at a game? Awful for pace of play......

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, biggentleben and 1 other like this

Fangraphs has a poll up, if anyone wants to vote.....

    • Thrylos likes this

 

Fangraphs has a poll up, if anyone wants to vote.....

 

Link here, if you are interested:

 

https://blogs.fangra...es-to-baseball/

 

 

    • Mike Sixel likes this

are you going to pair "No pinch-hitting" with "3 batter minimum"?

    • Tomj14 likes this

 

While it might seem that way, it's not so. Pitching changes are not responsible for the bulk of slowdowns or increased game length. It's simply extra idle time between pitches that is adding up:

 

https://www.sbnation...iew/game-length

 

Edit to add: one can still be opposed to pitching changes and modern SP/RP usage, of course, on aesthetic grounds. But it's not really a primary driver of pace or game length issues.

(If this has already been mentioned since this comment was posted, I apologize for being repetitive.)

 

To be clear, the sbnation article focused on two games played years apart, neither of which included a bunch of mid-inning pitching changes. As the author himself points out ("That’s it. That’s the secret. It isn’t just the commercials. It isn’t just the left-handed pitchers coming in to face one batter, even though that absolutely makes a huge difference in the games when that does happen"), the primary difference between THOSE SPECIFIC GAMES was the time between pitches, but that doesn't mean that games that DO include mid-inning pitching changes wouldn't ALSO cause significant pace of play issues.

 

I'm actually ok with all of the proposed changes.

 

I didn't like shot clock proposals a year ago, but I've seen nothing that indicates they were a problem. 

 

I've been for adopting the DH across baseball for a long time. Pitchers can't hit. Period. It's boring to watch them try. 

 

I'm also fine with the 3-batter minimum... with some exceptions. End of inning nullifies it. Any pinch hitter sent up also allows the defending manager to make a corresponding pitching change.

 

If a pitcher has to leave the game due to "injury" before he's thrown to 3 batters, that's fine - but, by rule, that team can't use that pitcher for the next 2 (or maybe even 3) games. If you want to replace him on your roster, fine, put him on the DL.

 

Sure, add a spot or two to active rosters. But also limit the size of the pitching staff so that additional spot isn't used for yet another RP.

 

And, yes, limit September rosters to 28. I know we like to see prospects get a shot in September, but this one issue is huge where equity of scheduling comes into play. If you're contending for a postseason spot and the team you're contending with has a September schedule of full of non-contenders using AA-AAA players, that is not equitable. If you limit the roster to 28, then at least no team is going to trot out a whole lineup full of minor leaguers most of the month of September.


Similar Articles


by Cody Christie , 24 Jul 2018
Photo


by Cody Christie , 04 Mar 2018
Photo


by Cody Christie , 29 Jan 2018
Photo


by Cody Christie , 19 Jan 2018
Photo


by Cody Christie , 16 Oct 2017
Photo