It’s easy to say that today’s Major League hitters should “make adjustments” to prevent strikeouts, but what if I told you that it’s too hard? Apparently Major League Baseball agrees, so they’re having the Atlantic League move the mound back a foot. Ya know, to give hitters that extra split second to make a decision. It’s actually a brilliant idea, and I’ll explain why.
The Atlantic League – in conjunction with MLB – will test moving the mound a foot back to 61 feet¸6 inches in the second half of its season.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 14, 2021
For the first time in 128 years, the mound will not sit at 60 feet, 6 inches.
Sources tell @jaysonst: https://t.co/GuoyIUjZie pic.twitter.com/l0vUDk8rnN
When Tony Gwynn and Pete Rose were “taking what the pitcher gave” on a slashed single to left field, how often were they seeing a pitch like this? Spoiler: Never.
Jordan Hicks, Absurd 100mph Sinker. 👀😯 pic.twitter.com/3bsaycsbyM— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 14, 2021
I’m simply stating that eventually, evolution overpowers a sport. We started seeing it in the NBA about ten years ago when teams learned that taking three-point shots was worth the risk. Now, everyone’s taking and making those.
It’s just baseball’s turn. All hitters see today are 98 mile-an-hour fastballs with wicked movement. The days of the lefty starter throwing 88 mph for seven innings are gone with the wind.
They went away when analytics figured out that home runs were more effective than singles, stolen bases, and successful hit-and-runs. MLB organizations countered the sudden itch for the long ball by finding ways to prevent contact. Their answer was velocity, and now baseball is admitting these hitters are overmatched. Pitching velocity should still remain, but hitters can’t get a job done when all they see are Pedro Martinez-like heaters.
And baseball is doing this the right way
What harm does it do for the Atlantic League to give moving the mound back a try? It won’t change baseball until it’s gone through a long, drawn out process of trial and error. If hitters suddenly start putting the ball in play and velocity becomes less of a factor like in years past, then maybe we start seeing small ball again?
We won’t know unless we try!