MLB Rule Changes 2021

2,481 Views | 29 Replies | Last: 4 mo ago by Carlo4
MaxPower
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Looks like MLB is experimenting with two potential rule changes. One is to move the mound back a foot to create more contact. The other is the double hook, which basically ties the DH to the pitcher. What do you think? I don't really like the mound change. Yes it may cut down in Ks but the games will be just as long (or longer) overall with increased scoring. I do like the double hook. It seems a good NL/AL compromise and brings some strategy back. They might have to give teams a few years notice though because there's some money tied up in DHs. I also expect the players union will not be enamored with it.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mlb.com/amp/press-release/press-release-mlb-atlantic-league-announce-experimental-rules-for-2021-atlantic-.html
chico
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AG
that double-hook is interesting....would really put more strategy in the game-day decisions

I'm not a fan of moving the mound back. However they've lowered the mound before. I'd be open to lowering it a couple inches
MAROON
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AG
Players union will hate the DH rule. Makes the value of a pure DH player much less if he ends up batting one or two fewer times per game throughout the season. A lot of these guys are high earning players.

Don't like the mound move, but would be open to a spring training test run.

agsalaska
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AG
I like the fact that baseball recognizes something needs to be done to improve the gameplay. The strikeout/homerun problem has spiraled completely out of control in the last few years. Coupl eof thoughts

1. Dont increase the # of pitchers on staff. That makes things worse.
2. Moving the mound back might work, but I think lowering it makes a lot more sense.
3. I would prefer the DH be left alone. I don't really think the lack of a DH is a major problem.
4. I would like to see the shift eliminated. To me that seems like as big of a problem as any other. I was hoping batters would adjust to the shift and I think they have, by dropping there Avg 40 points and doubling their home run outputs.
5. The ball. Leave it alone.
MaxPower
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Agree on the shift. It would make the game more interesting and encourage guys to make more contact where a hit is more likely.

I don't like the mound shift. It will just make it easier to hit HR but does nothing to encourage a change in hitting approach.
powerbelly
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AG
Not a fan of moving the mound back. I dont care for the DH so anything that makes it less valuable is good by me.
agsalaska
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AG
MaxPower said:

Agree on the shift. It would make the game more interesting and encourage guys to make more contact where a hit is more likely.

I don't like the mound shift. It will just make it easier to hit HR but does nothing to encourage a change in hitting approach.
I don't understand why people think that a rule against the shift is some crazy groundbreaking rule about positioning players. We already have a rule that says players must be established in fair territory. Why can that not be expanded?


Also, funny story, my nine year old had to play two innings at first base this weekend in a 9u tournament. Our normal 1b was pitching and our backup 1b, who happens to also be our best pitcher, broke his collarbone on the playground a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway my son has played a lot of 1b but not since coach pitch so he has never actually held a runner on. He got called for a balk because he set up with both feet in foul territory. The ump explained it to him but he didnt quite get it. So the next inning another kid got to first and he started setting up again. In an act of good sportsmanship, after time was called by someone the 1b coach from the other team(we were in the 3b dugout) physically showed my son what he was doing wrong and how to fix it. First time I have ever seen that called.
redline248
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AG
Eliminating the shift in form of a rule would be similar to the NFL saying defenses can't play in a nickel.
powerbelly
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AG
redline248 said:

Eliminating the shift in form of a rule would be similar to the NFL saying defenses can't play in a nickel.


It would be more like the nfl requiring 7 defenders within 5 yards of the LOS at the snap.
agsalaska
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AG
redline248 said:

Eliminating the shift in form of a rule would be similar to the NFL saying defenses can't play in a nickel.
No. I don't agree with that.

First, it is apples to oranges. There is no on field comparison between football and baseball.

And, since its apples to oranges, it would be more akin to the NFL saying you must have seven players on the line of scrimmage at the snap.

There are good arguments against banning the shift. Comparisons to the NFL is not one of them.


It would be MUCH more similar to the MLB saying that defensive players must be positioned in fair territory, which they already do.
BurnetAggie99
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Guys need to bunt more during the shift

94chem
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I fail to see how bunting eliminates the shift. All it does is bring the 3rd baseman even with the bag.
94chem,
That, sir, was the greatest post in the history of TexAgs. I salute you. -- Dough
Stickynick
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I don't really mind the double hook, but moving the mound back sounds ridiculous. Imagine having to adjust where to start a curve ball after perfecting it for years, only to have to start it one foot deeper. Guys are no doubt throwing harder now than ever, but the lack of contact has just as much to do with the "3 true outcomes" and launch angle approach that hitters are using now.
Keeper of The Spirits
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AG
Agreed eliminating the shift is dumb, hitters will eventually figure it out. Legislating would slow the game down as teams would still try to execute the shift within the new rules
The Milkman
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AG
agsalaska said:

redline248 said:

Eliminating the shift in form of a rule would be similar to the NFL saying defenses can't play in a nickel.
No. I don't agree with that.

First, it is apples to oranges. There is no on field comparison between football and baseball.

And, since its apples to oranges, it would be more akin to the NFL saying you must have seven players on the line of scrimmage at the snap.

There are good arguments against banning the shift. Comparisons to the NFL is not one of them.


It would be MUCH more similar to the MLB saying that defensive players must be positioned in fair territory, which they already do.


I think of it as the equivalent of trying to tell a pitcher where he can't throw a pitch. Research and prep might tell a pitcher that a guy can't hit a slider down and away. So you're going to constantly feed him that until he proves otherwise. There shouldn't be a rule to say you need to equally pitch to all sides of the plate.
agsalaska
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AG
I do really like the runner at 2nd to start extra innings. That's totally youth league stuff and totally awesome to see these guys do it.

Watching multiple double switches happening right now in the Phi-Atl game. They just gave Bryce Harper a glove.

Edit-not lineup switches. Fielding position switches.
Beat40
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agsalaska said:

I do really like the runner at 2nd to start extra innings. That's totally youth league stuff and totally awesome to see these guys do it.

Watching multiple double switches happening right now in the Phi-Atl game. They just gave Bryce Harper a glove.

Edit-not lineup switches. Fielding position switches.


It's the worst rule by far. It's not baseball. If you're not going to count it as an earned run against the pitcher, you're admitting you're not having teams earn it.

I think it was something like 95% of games ended by the 11th inning. MLB instituted a complete stupid rule to try to fix like a 5% problem.
agsalaska
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AG
Beat40 said:

agsalaska said:

I do really like the runner at 2nd to start extra innings. That's totally youth league stuff and totally awesome to see these guys do it.

Watching multiple double switches happening right now in the Phi-Atl game. They just gave Bryce Harper a glove.

Edit-not lineup switches. Fielding position switches.


It's the worst rule by far. It's not baseball. If you're not going to count it as an earned run against the pitcher, you're admitting you're not having teams earn it.

I think it was something like 95% of games ended by the 11th inning. MLB instituted a complete stupid rule to try to fix like a 5% problem.
I am actually surprised that I like it. I consider myself a purist for the most part, especially between leagues.

But since watching four or five extra inning games, including the Rangers v Astros game tonight, I like it better like this.
Beat40
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agsalaska said:

Beat40 said:

agsalaska said:

I do really like the runner at 2nd to start extra innings. That's totally youth league stuff and totally awesome to see these guys do it.

Watching multiple double switches happening right now in the Phi-Atl game. They just gave Bryce Harper a glove.

Edit-not lineup switches. Fielding position switches.


It's the worst rule by far. It's not baseball. If you're not going to count it as an earned run against the pitcher, you're admitting you're not having teams earn it.

I think it was something like 95% of games ended by the 11th inning. MLB instituted a complete stupid rule to try to fix like a 5% problem.
I am actually surprised that I like it. I consider myself a purist for the most part, especially between leagues.

But since watching four or five extra inning games, including the Rangers v Astros game tonight, I like it better like this.


It benefited the Astros tonight, but I just hate that a guy can start on second, and a wild pitch immediately puts him at third with no outs. That's insane for MLB baseball to put a pitcher in that situation considering a single to anywhere but left field almost always scores the guy on second or a wild pitch advances a runner they didn't even give up a hit to. These guys are good enough to earn it.

Now, if you want to make the rule for the 12th or 13th and beyond, I'm willing to discuss. This rule was just MLB trying to fix a problem that rarely occurs during a COVID season.
agsalaska
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AG
Beat40 said:

agsalaska said:

Beat40 said:

agsalaska said:

I do really like the runner at 2nd to start extra innings. That's totally youth league stuff and totally awesome to see these guys do it.

Watching multiple double switches happening right now in the Phi-Atl game. They just gave Bryce Harper a glove.

Edit-not lineup switches. Fielding position switches.


It's the worst rule by far. It's not baseball. If you're not going to count it as an earned run against the pitcher, you're admitting you're not having teams earn it.

I think it was something like 95% of games ended by the 11th inning. MLB instituted a complete stupid rule to try to fix like a 5% problem.
I am actually surprised that I like it. I consider myself a purist for the most part, especially between leagues.

But since watching four or five extra inning games, including the Rangers v Astros game tonight, I like it better like this.


It benefited the Astros tonight, but I just hate that a guy can start on second, and a wild pitch immediately puts him at third with no outs. That's insane for MLB baseball to put a pitcher in that situation considering a single to anywhere but left field almost always scores the guy on second or a wild pitch advances a runner they didn't even give up a hit to. These guys are good enough to earn it.

Now, if you want to make the rule for the 12th or 13th and beyond, I'm willing to discuss. This rule was just MLB trying to fix a problem that rarely occurs during a COVID season.
All good points. It does seem somewhat unnecessary.
Beat40
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agsalaska said:

Beat40 said:

agsalaska said:

Beat40 said:

agsalaska said:

I do really like the runner at 2nd to start extra innings. That's totally youth league stuff and totally awesome to see these guys do it.

Watching multiple double switches happening right now in the Phi-Atl game. They just gave Bryce Harper a glove.

Edit-not lineup switches. Fielding position switches.


It's the worst rule by far. It's not baseball. If you're not going to count it as an earned run against the pitcher, you're admitting you're not having teams earn it.

I think it was something like 95% of games ended by the 11th inning. MLB instituted a complete stupid rule to try to fix like a 5% problem.
I am actually surprised that I like it. I consider myself a purist for the most part, especially between leagues.

But since watching four or five extra inning games, including the Rangers v Astros game tonight, I like it better like this.


It benefited the Astros tonight, but I just hate that a guy can start on second, and a wild pitch immediately puts him at third with no outs. That's insane for MLB baseball to put a pitcher in that situation considering a single to anywhere but left field almost always scores the guy on second or a wild pitch advances a runner they didn't even give up a hit to. These guys are good enough to earn it.

Now, if you want to make the rule for the 12th or 13th and beyond, I'm willing to discuss. This rule was just MLB trying to fix a problem that rarely occurs during a COVID season.
All good points. It does seem somewhat unnecessary.


And hey, I don't think anyone shouldn't like it, just stating my reasons for not liking it. I think there are a fair amount of people who do like it, including a fair amount I've read from around the league.

If MLB players aren't up in arms about it, I'll just continue to hate it and watch the game.
Quad Dog
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AG
Really interesting rules conversation the other day on Bill Simmons podcast with Theo Epstein about MLB rules.
https://www.theringer.com/the-bill-simmons-podcast/2021/5/7/22424308/best-nba-late-season-story-lines

Main points:
  • MLB has a bunch of surveys that say the most exciting things in baseball are athleticism, doubles, triples, and stolen bases. They want to figure out a way to make those happen more.
  • The league strikeout rate is 25%, which is Nolan Ryan level. Argues that pitchers have just figured out the science of pitching.
  • Time between ball in play is about 4 minutes, the longest its been in a while. Talks about pitch clocks in minor leagues that have helped. After a few weeks of a pitch clock everyone adjusts and it's not an issue anymore.
  • Talked about the rule changes in minor leagues like making the bases bigger, not letting infielders line up in the outfield, and having two players on each side of second base. To encourage stolen bases and try to increase doubles.
  • Average speed of a pitch is 94 mph, just a few years ago it was 91. Moving the mound back will cut down on velocity, and give hitters an extra fraction of a second to adjust. The moving the mound down will actually help pitchers, because one of the more popular pitches right now does better with a lower release point.
BurnetAggie99
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Alot of stupid stuff in there
The Milkman
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AG
May not necessarily agree with the specific new rules like the runner on 2nd, but I don't think anyone can argue the intention and the goal. There absolutely needs to be more balls in play. Its just a matter of how to achieve it.

Three True Outcome Baseball generates a lot of box scores full of 0s.

I also think the counter argument of "baseball doesn't need changes" is sort of silly right now because the game has so drastically changed itself. This tinkering that we are seeing with rule changes is just trying to bring it back to the game we used to see on the field.
redline248
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AG
Or, and this is just a crazy idea, let the game continue to change itself organically. I still believe teams are gonna eventually start dropping these low contact power hitters.
Beat40
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redline248 said:

Or, and this is just a crazy idea, let the game continue to change itself organically. I still believe teams are gonna eventually start dropping these low contact power hitters.
I think the game changing itself organically sometimes doesn't lead to the best product. It's actually not hard to argue shifts have led to a worse product. You can argue hitters should change their approach (and they should), or whether something should be done about it (I'm not a proponent of telling defenses how they can align), but it is fact that shifts have cut down on hits.

So I do think there is room for a conversation around if the product baseball is currently putting out attractive to fans. It's no secret baseball needs to grow fans in the younger base.

I think teams will eventually drop those hitters as well as some of these young guys coming out of the minors can hit for average as well as power. Those are the guys getting paid. Money talks, and I think young guys see that and will try to emulate their game after those guys.
Tastybrisket10
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We said the same thing 20 years ago when teams started shifting (oh players will just learn to hit to all fields) and look where organic changes have gotten us...willing to wait another 20 years?
redline248
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I was unaware the shift was 20 years old. First I remember hearing about it was 2015.

As to MLB attracting fans, they can start by being more accommodating to TV markets.
The Milkman
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AG
The game is an entertainment product. Its current iteration is not as entertaining as it could be. Rather than wait years for it to evolve, why not see what we can do to make it what we want?

It would be like repeatedly ordering and eating a dish that isn't made the way you like it, but you stick with it because thats the way its supposed to be served. Just tell the chef what you want!

Make the game give us what we want
Carlo4
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New rule change - pitchers can't cheat anymore!

Glasgow blames his injury on it. Why? He was using sunscreen to doctor the ball/grip and can't use it anymore. He has to try harder and hurt himself and got all mad. Boo boo effing hoo.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/31639015/tampa-bay-rays-say-ace-right-hander-tyler-glasnow-partially-torn-ucl-flexor-tendon-strain

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