Just what is Rob Manfred trying to do? He has been harping on pace of play and pushed last year to get a mound visit limit put in place. Now it seems he is he is not satisfied with that change he wants more. However instead of pace of play he wants more offense which would extend games.
Moving the mound
Apparently He thinks pitchers are too dominant because of high strikeouts last couple of years. (Silly me I I thought it was part of the pitchers job, to get batters out. Manfred in is EGOTISTICAL wisdom thinks he has the answer, move the mound back 2 feet to give the batter more reaction time.
OK, now there is some positive in that it gives the pitcher time to react on balls hit back to the mound. Which could be a good safety factor for pitchers.
I do think it will have an effect pitchers potentially causing more injury with those throwing in that 98-100+ MPH rate. They will have to change mechanics and arm position to adjust. So what happens when pitchers are able to adjust and become dominant again? Or the other side of the spectrum an increase in pitching injuries. Let's just put the ball on a tee and eliminate the pitcher all together. There is NO logical reason to move the mound other than to help the batter creating more offense and actually not help peed the pace of play but rather extend it!
While this is a minor issue it would actually impact pace of play. How much and which way is unclear. For most pitchers it is not a big deal but given that the minor leagues have been doing it for three years. However there is not (at least to me) a significant time saving last year the average game was 8 minutes shorter than 2014. This is going to be a big issue come3 the next CBA.
Pitchers, use alteration in pitching pace to keep a hitter off balance, just as a QB would use cadence variation in a snap count to keep a defense off balance. So you are taking away another weapon from the pitcher.
To me a pitch clock is a big ado about nothing and just is not needed. Will it shave time off the game? yes but that time will be marginal.
Last year a limit of 6 mound visits were implemented. It caused barely a ripple in the pace of play scenario. so this year they want to make it 5 non pitching change mound visits. This again may result in little to NO gain. So what then Manfred? take away another visit? It is just STUPID.
3 batter minimum
All pitchers must face a minimum of 3 batters after entering the game. The only upside to this is to eliminate the use of the "opener" in a game. outside of that it is a total Joke of an idea. This is an attempt to keep a manager from using one pitcher for one batter then switching again. This is another non-issue. Plus it hampers the strategy of managing the game to match ups the manger wants. This is not a help to the game.
Now on the object of pace of play yes it could help but again very marginal. Those in favor of of this say it will help by eliminating the delay caused by situational pitching changes that they claim slow the game down with commercials. Here is a wild idea, eliminate the commercials during the pitching changes. This is not a broken part of the game. It does not need to be fixed. Don't take the game away from the field manager.
Electronic umpiring (balls and strikes)
While this does seem like a step in the right direction, It has been widely reported that the system they want to use is not very accurate. Plus there is no truly accurate data that shows how many calls umpires miss. do they miss calls? YES, they do but, more often that not they are correct plus then you have the check swings. It is again something that until perfected and proven should be a non-issue.
Expanding to a 26 man roster
There are pros and cons to this.
First adding an extra position player would be a benefit in many extra inning games or close contests.
However we could also see teams add an extra Relief pitcher. With the advent of 6 man starting rotations and openers a team with a 26 man roster could carry 14 pitchers. Although I think it more than likely most teams would opt for the extra bat.
There could be the option of MLB dictating how many pitchers a team could carry. This would not go over well and likely be a CBA issue.
I personally like the idea and is one of the few of these actions that I would support.
Impose a HARD July 31 trade deadline instead of a waiver / Non-waiver deadline. This may be the another thing I completely agree with.
Eliminating the waiver deadline could have an effect on trade strategies in terms secondary or role players that they would normally move after the deadline. It would force teams to make those decisions earlier in the process.
A side note here, I would like to see a hard OFF-Season deadline of say the end of the winter meetings. All trades would be required to be agreed to by midnight the last day of meeting. No trades would be allowed until the first day of Spring Training. This would give Free Agents approximately two months were they would be the main focus of teams.
The DH has been in existence 45 years (since 1973) It is a highly divided issue to be sure. National league purists hate the the DH. I think most American league fans have become used to it. Proponents of the DH say it eliminates the automatic out from the pitcher. Now while pitchers are not known as hitters. (as an example the Cardinal pitchers collectively hit .147/.166/.231/.397 6 Hrs and 23 RBIs in 286 ABs also responsible for 34 Sacrifices) they are far from automatic outs or out without consequence.
Baseball is a game of strategy The DH takes strategy away from the manger in terms of double switches and pinch hitting.
Looking at 10 year spans since the DH was implemented in terms of BA the first 10 years the the AL Averaged .261 while the NL hit at a .257
in the 80s and 90s there was decide 8-9 point difference in AVG.
Since 2013 however the gap was only 3 points.
The DH was seen as a way to extend the careers of big stars but it really hasn't. What it has done id developed the single skill set player who can hit but is a liability in the field. Although with Manfred in charge he might like the idea of no defense. That is until game take 5 hours and end up 19 - 20.
In my opinion it is time to dump the DH and bring baseball back to what it SHOULD be.
Memo to Manfred
Leaver the pitchers alone, Let managers manage and please retire, quit or just fall off the earth. butr leaver the game alone and SHUT UP!