DENVER — At Triple-A Reno this year, Diamondbacks right-hander Ryne Nelson would sometimes shrug off a catcher’s call and then shuffle another. Before the two could agree, the pitch clock was already in his mind.
“You might end up pitching,” Nelson said. “You don’t want to pitch.”
That’s on the minds of Diamondbacks pitchers Friday after the commissioner’s office announced rule changes that will go into effect in the majors next season, including the use of pitching clocks, shift restrictions and greater enforcement. base.
Diamondbacks right pitcher Zach Gallen said the clock — which would give pitchers and batters 15 seconds between pitches at open bases and 20 seconds in the case of runners — — may affect him multiple times in a single night. He described a scene he said happened to him and catcher Carson Kelly, perhaps once in another inning.
“In some cases, he’d say a certain tone and I’d shake to something else, but eventually I’d think, ‘I like the first tone,’ and we just kept going back,” Gallen said. “Those intricacies of the game, the chess game of the game, I don’t really know, but we might sacrifice those things for the tempo of the game. I think the game is going to be long, but baseball is three hours. That’s it. That’s it. It’s the nature of the beast.”
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner has come up with a solution he’s been lobbying for at least since the system’s inception: Make communication with catchers a two-way street.
“All I want is to have what they use in the All-Star Game, where pitchers and catchers can talk to each other,” Bumgarner said. “Then my problem is zero.”
If a pitcher does not start pitching before the clock reaches zero, they will be subject to a free throw. If the batsman is outside the batsman’s penalty area and is ready to bat with at least 8 seconds remaining, the batsman will be penalized for one stroke.
Bumgarner shook his head when told of Nelson’s example of throwing a pitch he didn’t want to.
“I wouldn’t do that,” Bumgarner said. “I’m not going to risk giving up (a home run). I’d rather have a ball.”
Rescuer Ian Kennedy said: “I think it’s going to be good overall, but it’s not worth it because it can distort some games. Baseball fans are baseball fans, real baseball fans are. Whether it’s two hours and thirty minutes or For three hours, they will continue to pay attention.”
Hitters using the clock in the minors this year don’t seem to have had a problem. Outfielders Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll both said they made adjustments to their pitching routines while in the minors. Thomas said he moved faster, while Carroll said he just stayed in the box.
“It changed my middle pitching routine,” Carroll said. “But I’m happy with this change compared to the positive changes in local rhythms.”
Although Thomas said he doesn’t think he’ll be bothered, he thinks some players will.
“I know guys like Bryce Harper and all these guys are going to have a tough time because they get all these different things they do,” Thomas said. “I think pitchers and hitters are going to be really pissed that the time they’ve always had isn’t going to be there. Of course, it’s going to be weird for them.”
Gallen has another question about the way the change will take place. He pointed to a slide the league showed during a meeting with reporters. Above, it lists the time between innings at two minutes and 15 seconds, with asterisks indicating longer breaks for nationally televised games (two minutes and 40 seconds) and playoffs (three minutes and 10 seconds).
“My favorite is that asterisk,” Gallen said. “When there’s commercial money and sponsorship, we’re going to extend the game by 20 minutes. That’s the thing that annoys me the most. I hope fans don’t make the mistake of thinking the league thinks it’s just the pace of the game. If it’s a way for them to make money, They’ll do it. They’ll make money.”
Left-handed Tommy Henry was drafted to Reno after his second straight rough start.
“It’s a work in progress for young pitchers, especially young starting pitchers,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I don’t think the fastball command is as good as it used to be. The secondary stuff is a bit inconsistent. He showed us that when he’s right, he can be a really good major league pitcher. We just thought it was time for him One hit, get him off the stage and start over.”
Lovulo said the club had not yet decided whether it would stick to the six-man rotation. Henry’s next start is on Wednesday, so it will take a while for the club to make a decision.
Right-hander Tyler Widener was recalled to replace Henry on the roster. He would give the Diamondbacks another option.