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Crazy idea: pitchers should play more games, less innings

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  • Crazy idea: pitchers should play more games, less innings

    You may have heard of crazy ideas like the 3-3-3 rotation ( or the tandem starters ( Peronally, I would limit pitchers to a maximum 4 innings / 12 outs and a maximum 60 pitches per game.

    You may have discussed whether it would improve the team's performance, reduce injuries or improve the gameplay. However, my argument is different.

    I think that having 5-pitcher rotations reduce interest in watching games without the top pitchers. Fans want to watch Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin, and may skip Nationals games where they don't play.

    I think that the top pitchers should play more often, so more games are interesting to watch. And that would be possible with such a rule.

  • #2
    Would you be willing to give a starting pitcher a win after 3 innings? I seem to recall in 1990 - becasue of the lockout and getting all the games in - for the first few weeks pitchers were given a win after 4 inning due to needing to stretch them out some with the shortened spring training. (Did any pitchers earn one that way? I don't recall but think I recall that rule.)

    I think some would want at least 4 innings for a win if not 3. Just to give the hurlers more chances at wins. Not onlhy numbers purists - wanting 20-game winners to continue to exist - but the union for salary debates.
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    • #3
      NaBUru, I agree. Fans first wish to see big name pitchers. The author in this article recognizes this as the largest problem with the idea. Toward the end, the two paragraphs under the subheading, "Would anyone willingly sign up for this?" address this problem. He agrees that free agents will have a problem with the concept. Pitchers would not like the idea of possibly getting tagged with a loss while never having a shot at a win by pitching only 3 innings, or less than 5. Pitchers would also have a problem with their egos, when informed that they are not "good" enough to be a real starter.

      The first of these problems is more substantial. The rule should not be changed over qualifying for a win with less than 5 innings. Once the game is official and the chance of rain could shorten the game, then a win should go to a starter who pitched long enough to get that W. Any change over this will bastardize baseball and lead to a highly subjective set of debates over the meaning of the W column for pitchers, far more than we have already. While the second problem the author mentions is also significant, superficial rule changes bring about the first step on a very slippery slope. Baseball would become much more like football, all because the comparison of eras is more difficult after superficial rule changes. Fans would only continue debating the need for superficial rule changes, and fans end up not seeing for forest for the trees.

      Pitchers will always have a problem with their egos, facing the message that they are not good enough to start, and sometimes insisting otherwise. Baseball lore is filled with pitchers proving former teams wrong on their talents. That will not change anyway. MLB has no business setting up superficial rule changes when a team like this year's TB Rays are working well enough around that supposed need.
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