The introduction of the 15″ limit between pitches aims to shorten games to stop the bleeding of the latest generation of fans. Favorite San Diego, Houston, Yankees and Atlanta
In the era of TikTok, Instagram and so on, finding young people willing to sit straight in front of the TV for 3-4 hours to watch a baseball game meant the death sentence for the sport in question. Here then is that the Mlb championship that starts today understood that the time had come for a change. No more endless matches, thanks to the introduction of the “pitch clock”, i.e. the time limit between one pitch and another available to the pitcher (15 seconds with empty bases, 20 if there is a runner). In the pre-season friendly matches of the Spring Training the results were encouraging: the matches were shortened by an average of 20′. The penalty for those who do not throw in the allowed time is the call of a “ball” against him.
the other news
Eliminated the “shift”, i.e. the possibility of the defense to deploy an additional infielder in the area where the batter usually hits the ball. All 4 infielders will be required to stand on dirt in the infield. The intent is to increase the batting average, therefore to liven up the matches, and also to decrease the choices of the hitters, who – precisely because of the shift – now hit with only one intention, to hit home runs, thus significantly increasing the number of strikeouts . Another novelty: the limitation of two pickoff attempts by runners on base by pitchers, again with the aim of speeding up games. Finally, bases were widened, in hopes of seeing more “stolen base” attempts.
In the American League the usual Yankees, who launch a 20-year-old hopeful at shortstop – the future Jeter is rumored – Anthony Volpe, and bet on a strong rotation of Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes (when they are all healthy …). Then the Astros, who also lost Justin Verlander (to the Mets) and will have José Altuve knocked out for a couple of months. Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox will contend for the Central Division, with Toronto, Tampa and Seattle (Julio Rodriguez may be the best pitcher in the league) among the favorites for the Wild Card spots.
In the National Atlanta he should take the lion’s share with Ronaldo Acuna Jr. doing damage in the bat. They also like the Mets, even if the absurd injury that took out closer Edwin Diaz – crusader farewell during the celebrations for a victory in the World Baseball Classic – for the whole season doesn’t help them. And then the Dodgers, as always. On the other hand, with a lineup that includes Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Will Smith and JD Martinez and a strong rotation of Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Noah Syndergaard, with two prospects like Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone ready to lend a hand, it’s difficult not to put them among the candidates for the title. The San Diego Padres thanks to the acquisition of Xander Bogaerts have added another superstar to their roster and they are scary. The Cardinals look front row at Central. With Phila ready to slip in as a wild card.
For the mvp, in the American above all Shohei Ohtani, the pitcher / hitter of the Angels, unfortunately still in a second-rate team together with the other phenomenon of Anaheim, Mike Trout. And then Jordan Alvarez of the Astros. In the National Acuna, with Juan Soto and Trae Turner close behind. Among the rookies, watch out for Gunnar Henderson of the Orioles and Japanese Masataka Yoshida of the Red Sox in the AL. In the National, Corbin Carroll of Arizona among the freshmen.
Will it finally be the year of the Padres? We say yes. And they will face Houston in the final.
March 30 – 2:25 pm
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