Atlantic League Used as Lab Again

MLB announced the Atlantic League would implement a couple rule changes as experiments this year, with the idea being they could find their way into MLB’s own rule book.
First, for the second half of the season, the pitching rubber will be moved back 1 foot, to 61.5 ft from the plate. The hope is it will give hitters a fraction of a second longer to react and put more balls in play. In 2018, the Atlantic League was going to move the mound back 2 feet, but that experiment was scrubbed before being implemented at all. The last time the mound was moved was in 1893, when it got moved back 5 (!) feet, to its current distance. That year NL batting average went from .245 to .280. One foot certainly won’t be that dramatic, but strike out rates have gone up 15 years in a row.
The other one will be for the entire season, a “double hook” rule. This one states that, whenever the starting pitcher is removed, that team also loses its DH. This one interests me. It’s liable to result in a longer wait for the manager to pull the starter, knowing he’s also losing a viable hitter. A bit more strategy and a bit less “Captain Hook” over managing the pitchers can’t be a bad thing, right? It’s widely expected the new CBA, whenever it gets agreed upon after the season, is liable to make the DH a permanent thing in the NL. …but what if this rule came with it? Might it be an acceptable compromise? Have the DH, protect the starting pitchers, but curtail the “opener” strategy and leaving in bench management due to having only so many potential pinch hitters?

What do y’all think?

4 thoughts on “Atlantic League Used as Lab Again

  1. Really dumb. I will never understand wanting to put a pitcher at risk so he can fill a number 9 slot. And treating the starter as a special class versus bullpen guys — that’s crappy. It’s ok to risk your set up guy? Who goes for that?

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  2. This is suuuuuuuuuuuuper dumb. Both moving the mound and the stupid double hook nonsense. I’m not sure if this is baseball or some sort of summer blockbuster movie/video game nonsense. MLB needs to stop screwing around with radical rules.

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  3. If you want to improve viewership, there’s one simple, easy to do so. Cut out all this stupid blackout policy nonsense. Allow people to stream games online easily without restriction. It’s absolutely absurd that people need to have an incredibly expensive cable package in order to watch tv. More and more people are consuming their media online. Also, stop with the dozens of ads all over your website. It’s insane that a multi-billion dollar industry has to force me to watch 12 ads before I can watch a highlight to last night’s game. You look either cheap, greedy, or like some rinky-dink organization. Why are highlights so difficult to share online? Why can’t people easily post highlights to reddit, twitter, facebook, etc?

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    1. Also, streamline that play review process. Good lord, no one needs to walk over and put on headsets. The comparison between replay calls during the ncaa tournament and opening weekend baseball made MLB look slow and inept. I mean, sure dial- up internet may still work, but that doesn’t make it the option you should use.

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