This year and last year MLB implemented new rules to keep the game “interesting” or “moving fast” for the newer fans, or for those who can’t sit still, I would guess. The new rule changes of adding a runner on second in extra innings and 3 batter minimum have certainly proven to be a struggle for the Twins. The Twins who have only won one game in extra innings this season, showing that it can move the game along, but it also leaves players at a disadvantage if the management is not going to use good game time decisions such as laying down a bunt to advance a runner. Poor management decisions make it hard to appreciate the new rules that MLB is implementing.
MLB has been playing with the idea of moving the mound back to 6 feet 61 inches, something they have been playing with in the Atlantic League. They believe that this will reduce the strike outs, as well as the large numbers of homeruns, making more contact with the bat for base runs. This means a lot of change for not only the power hitters who will see the ball coming in at a lower velocity, but also the pitchers, who deal with a myriad of injuries and a tight strike zone. Moving the mound back is going to force pitchers across the league to re-learn their art, which also could increase injuries, less playing time between games, and command.
The Twins pitching this year is something to be desired and 2021 is no exception. With a disgusting 4.66 ERA, 437 hits and 265 runs, command is something that the pitching is sincerely lacking. The pitching coach, who comes from a college background and lives and breathes sabermetrics is also part of the reason pitching is struggling. Wes Johnson, is of the mindset that leaving a starter in until the 6th leaving the inept bullpen to finish the game.
Our bullpen simply cannot pull themselves together to finish out a game, when we have starters that can take us to the 7th or even 8th. With poor pitch coaching and managerial decisions, moving the mound back is only going to compact our issues. Until our team learns to control their pitches, a proposed mound change is not going to help us. The change would only allow batters to have more time to read our pitches and profit off of them, which the Twins cannot afford to give up, unless they can answer.
Let’s hope that this idea of moving the mound back dies in the independent league and doesn’t make it into the majors. There would have to be some major restructuring in the Twins pitching department if this rule does become implemented, the Twins simply cannot afford anymore setbacks.