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How the 3-batter minimum will change baseball



To understand why the Major League Baseball has announced that there will be a minimum of three shots for each pitcher (except for the injury or the end of an inning) that will come into play in 2020, do not look beyond a White Sox / Angels game last July 23

To give the kick start at the eighth inning in Anaheim, the very strong Juan Minaya of Chicago allowed Albert Pujols to go left alone. It was out of Chicago manager, Rick Renteria, who reported the fourth pitcher of the night to the bullpen. Soon he would wear a path between the pirogue and the mound.

Here's how the eighth inning ended.

1) Minaya allows Pujols to single

Renteria signals for a reliever. Two minutes and five seconds pass before the next tone.

2) Jace Fry enters to alleviate Minaya. Throw six pitches, hitting Shohei Ohtani.

Renteria signals for a reliever. Three minutes and 27 seconds pass before the next shot.

3) Jeanmar Gomez enters to free Fry. Throws two pitches, releasing Ian Kinsler.

Renteria signals for a reliever. Four minutes and 1

0 seconds pass before the next shot, partly because the Angels had sent Luis Valbuena to hit for Martin Maldonado, then replaced Valbuena with the very strong Jefry Marte after the White Sox had stopped to buy time to change launchers. [19659002] 4) Luis Avilan enters to relieve Gomez. He throws eight pitches, eliminating Mars to finish the inning and his night, since Joakim Soria enters for the ninth inning.

"It's the empty Monday for the angels and the White Sox in the door opener of the series," said White Presenter Sox Jason Benetti as Avilan. All in all, the half-inning lasted 17 minutes and 24 seconds from Minaya's first shot to Avilan's final one. That breaks into "7:02 of the time of baseball and 10:22 of the time of non-baseball", with this last included 6:14 for the mid-inning spots, 2:13 waiting for the rescuers to finish the warmup after the return from the break, and 1:55 for Renteria to walk to the mound three times.

(You can see the complete exhaustion of the innings here.)

This is an extreme example, we will accept it. This does not happen in every game every night. But this is the point of all this, sequences like this. The changes to the average pitching are a wave of peace and play. They interrupt the action and do not add anything in return. The less there are, the better.

More launchers, more intermediate breaks

In 2018, there were 799 different launchers in one game, a new all-time record. This is a record that has been broken every year since 2013, not surprisingly. If we go back to 1998, the first year of the 30 teams, there were 557 launchers, which appear in 4,864 games. In two decades, in an almost identical amount of games, the number of launchers per game has increased by 2.6, from 6.1 to 8.7

This will not change, for the most part. The appetizers will not suddenly release 300 innings again. It's not happening. But the increase in pitchers, or more precisely of relievers, has also increased the amount of pitching changes .

If we look at the number of presences in relief that have lasted at most two beaters, we can see that it has also changed massively. Before the Second World War, usually there were fewer than 200 appearances in the whole sport. Until 2004, we were below 2,000 total presences. Now, we are usually in the range of 2,300 to 2,500.

On a per game basis, it is not as hard, of course, because the number of teams and games has increased over time and, from that view, this is still happening less than once per game. It is also true that for percentages of presences in relief, those of two hitters or less have actually decreased in recent years, but this is also a function of many, many more apparitions of general importance. As a total crude, there are more than ever.

If it is a discussion that this rule changes the game too much, it may not be wrong, but the point here is that the game has changed, considerably. Whatever you think "the right point in baseball history was", the 2019 game doesn't look like that. Years ago, there were no games with eight relievers. There were no pitchers just for a batter or two. If anything, this could make baseball look a little more similar to the usual. Change, good or bad, always happens.

What we showed above was simply "raised appearances of two hitters or not", because it's a good way to show this impact over time, but it's not exactly the rule. As stated in the rules, a pitcher will actually be required to "make at least three batters or at the end of a half inning".

So how much impact will it actually have? Actually, maybe not altogether as much as you might think.

How much will things really change?

We need to divide it into "prominent appearances of zero, one or two beaters in which the inning is finished," thus freeing the enhancer from the obligation to remain inside, and "where the inning is not finished", because this is now important. If we look back at the last 20 seasons, we can see that the number of raised appearances that do not extend to three hitters has increased significantly … but the number of appearances in which a pitcher did this and did not get to the end of the innings is not.

Basically, we are examining about 800 or so of these prominent appearances soon banned each year, as well as a small impact on the length of "opener" appearances, because we are only looking for mitigators for this data. Although this has not changed significantly over time, it is still remarkable. There are 26 weeks in a Major League Baseball season, and we've seen 779 of these appearances in 2018. That's about 28 times a week, or about one per team per week. It's not much It's nothing.

As Matt Eddy of Baseball America has shown, we have already seen a slight increase in batters faced for appearance in relief, probably in part because if the starters threw less innings, you need a little more reliever for take the Slack.

The result here could be to damage the LOOGY types – this is "Guys one-out left-handed" " – like Andrew Chafin or Jerry Blevins, but it probably increases the value of those mitigators that can go to more hitters without big bullies, like Josh Hader or Andrew Miller. If this shifts the value from the specialists to the best general launchers, all the better. [19659002] The strategy does not end, change it

A common argument against this idea is that it limits the strategy, because managers will no longer follow the chess game we described above in the game White Sox / Angels. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your interpretation, but it might not even be true.

Consider this hypothetical situation: there are two outs and men. The next three hitters swing left-handed / righty / righty. anager has two interesting options …

A) Bring his left-handed killer to try to finish the inning. In this scenario, he is attempting to immediately end the inning, knowing that his pitcher has a greater chance of exiting the first batsman, but may be weaker towards the next two.

B) Bring a better general pitcher. In this scenario, he is pulling out a pitcher with a worse chance of getting out of the first batsman, but a better chance of getting out of the next two that he would have to face.

Obviously, the factor that affects the likelihood of hitting this too, further influencing the manager's decision. The strategy will not go away. It will be just different. The lefties won't go away, because you're not going to be left-handed to face a group of puppies by Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, for example. There will only be left-handed people, those who can do more than one thing.

We can see which teams will be most affected.

C & # 39; is an interesting diffusion there, starting from 52 by the Indians – – thanks in large part to Perez, who was stolen 19 times to an apparent outlaw – to Marlins, who did it only seven times .

Now, it's fair to say that c is a different way to get to this. You could discuss a penalty, for example a ball added to the count, for an average pitch change, or simply a limit to those changes entirely. Even those ideas work. But no one is arguing that it is fun to sit through a stream of changes in which the manager walks slowly towards the mound, the television broadcast pauses and the minutes pass without a step. This will not solve all the problems . Will solve this problem . This alone is worth it.

Mike Petriello is an analyst at MLB.com and host of the Statcast podcast.


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