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How the 3-batter minimum will change baseball

To understand why Major League Baseball has announced that there will be a minimum of three shots (except injuries or the end of an innings) for each pitcher that will come into play in 2020, is a White Sox / Angels just the right game from last July 23rd.

To start the bottom of the eighth inning in Anaheim, the right-wing Chicago Juan Minaya allowed Albert Pujols to leave the single. Chicago manager Rick Renteria came out and signaled the Bullpen his fourth pitcher of the night. He would soon carry a path between the dugout and the hill.

The eighth inning ended in full.

1) Minaya makes Pujol's single. Renteria signals a helper. Two minutes and five seconds pass before the next pitch begins.

2) Jace Fry enters to relieve Minaya. He throws six notes and turns out Shohei Ohtani.

Renteria signals a helper. Three minutes and 27 seconds pass before the next pitch starts.

3) Jeanmar Gomez arrives to relieve Fry. He throws two pitches and lets Ian Kinsler jump out.

Renteria relies on a helper. Four minutes and ten seconds pass before the next pitch, in part because the Angels had sent left-back Luis Valbuena for Martin Maldonado, who replaced Valbuena with right-wing Jefry Marte after the White Sox took their time to change the pitchers , 1

9659002] 4) Luis Avilan steps in to relieve Gomez. He throws eight pitches and beats Marte to end the inning and his night as Joakim Soria enters the ninth inning.

"It's Monday for the Angels and White Sox at the start of the series," said White Sox spokesman Jason Benetti when Avilan entered. All in all, the half-inning lasted 17 minutes and 24 seconds from Minaya's first place to Avilan's last. This breaks down into "7:02 of baseball time and 10:22 of non-baseball time," the latter including 6:14 for ads in the inning-inning time, 2:13 waiting for the After-break reliefs were completed, and 1:55 for Renteria to run three times to the hill.

(You can see the complete collapse of the inning here.)

This is an extreme example we will give. This does not happen every night. But This is the point of all these sequences. The pitching changes in the middle of the innings are a nuisance for tempo and the game. They stop the action and do not add anything in return. The less we see, the better.

More Pitchers, More Mid-Inning Breaks

In 2018, there were 799 different pitchers in a game, a new record time. This is a record that has been broken every year since 2013, which is not surprising. If we go back to 1998, the first year of the '30s era, there were 557 jugs that appeared in 4,864 games. In almost two decades, the number of pitchers per game increased by 2.6 from 6.1 to 8.7.

That will not change for the most part. Starters do not suddenly throw 300 innings again. It does not happen. The increase in pitchers, more precisely, the relief, however, has also increased the number of dislocations .

If we just look at the number of reliefs that lasted a maximum of two batters, we can see, that's also been drastically changed. Before the Second World War, there were less than 200 such phenomena in the entire sports field. In 2004, we were under 2,000 in total. Now we are routinely in the range of 2,300 to 2,500.

On a per-game basis, this is not so obvious, obviously, because the number of teams and games have both increased over time, and from this point of view, this is the case still happens less than once per game. It is also true that by 1945,9006 percent of the relief phenomena, of two batters or less have actually declined in recent years, but this is also a function of so many, much more general relief phenomena. There are more than ever before.

If there's an argument that this rule is changing the game too much, that may not be wrong, but the point here is that the game has changed significantly. Whatever you think, "the right point in baseball history was," the game in 2019 does not look that way. Years ago, there were no games with eight helpers. There were no pitchers for one or two doughs. If anything, this could make baseball look a bit more like it used to. Change, whether good or bad, always happens.

What we showed above was simply "relief effects of two or less", because this is a good way to show that influence over time, but that's not the rule. Indeed, as stated in the rules, it is a requirement that a pitcher be faced with either "at least three clubs or until the end of a half-innings".

So what influence will this have? Maybe not even as you think.

How much will that really change?

We must divide this into "relief" zero, one or two hitters where the inning has ended, "thereby freeing the helper from the requirement to stay in it and" where the inning is not over Looking back over the past 20 seasons, we can see that the number of reliefs that do not extend to three batters has increased significantly … but the number of gigs that one has Throwers did this and did not until the end of the innings.

Basically, we consider about 800 of these relief features to be banned soon each year plus a small impact on the length of "opener" appearances, because we just While this has not changed noticeably over time, it is still noteworthy: there are 26 weeks in Major League Baseball S aison, and in 2018, 779 of these performances were seen. That's about 28 times a week or about one per team per week. It is not much. It is not nothing.

As Matt Eddy of Baseball America has shown, we have already seen a slight increase in the batters per relief performance, probably in part, because when starters throw fewer innings, you'll need a few longer assistants to take it easy.

The result here could harm LOOGY guys – that's "Left-Handed One-Out Guys" "- like Andrew Chafin or Jerry Blevins, but it probably increases the value of those helpers who can make multiple thugs without large train splits, like Josh Hader or Andrew Miller, so much so that shifting the value of specialists to better overall jacking will do the better. [19659002] Strategy is not terminated but changed.

A common argument, however, is that the strategy is limited because managers will not be playing the chess match we described in the White Sox / Angels game above Whether this is a good or a bad thing or not depends on your own interpretation, but it may not be true.

Consider this hypothetical situation: There are two outs and three men swinging left / right / right. The manager has two interesting options …

A) Bring in his ace left-hit killer to try to end the inning. In this scenario, he tries to finish the inning immediately, knowing that his bowler has a greater chance of launching the first punch, but he may be weaker than the next two.

B) Bring a Better Pitcher Overall In this scenario, he puts down a pitcher who has a worse chance of scoring the first goal, but the next two he faces have to.

Obviously, the possibilities of pinching play in. This, too, influences the decision of the manager. Strategy does not go away. It will just be different. Also, lefties will not disappear because you will not be providing Lefty for a Cubs group of Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. There will only be other left-handers who can do more than one thing.

We can see which teams will be the hardest hit.

There is an interesting spread there, of 52 of the Indians – – Many thanks to Perez, who was torn 19 times from a soon outlawed appearance – down to the Marlins, who only did it seven times.

Now you can say another way to achieve this. You could opt for a penalty, such as a ball added to the count, for a pitching change in the inning inning, or just for a limit of those changes. These ideas work too. But no one argues that it's fun to move through a series of changes in which the manager walks slowly up the hill, breaks the broadcast, and passes the minutes without luck. does not resolve all issues . It will resolve this problem. That alone is worth it.

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and hosts the Statcast podcast.

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