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Pitch Clocks and Ban on Shifts Could Affect MLB Roster Construction


“I don’t think the impact of cutting it down by just a few seconds between pitches within the ninth inning for a man that’s throw 20 pitches goes to be the difference,” Falvey said. “For a starting pitcher, possibly. For a man who’s going to be just a little bit more deliberate between pitches, I can see that.”

(With a pitch clock within the minor leagues last season, M.L.B. found that injury rates dropped and velocity was flat.)

Dombrowski identified that younger pitchers who were within the minor leagues last 12 months have already adapted to a shortened time in between pitches. But for the max-effort major leaguers who work slowly, he said, “they’re going to must make an adjustment.”

He added, “I assume they’ll give you the chance to, however it might mess a few of them up, there’s little doubt about that.”

Last season, for instance, the longtime closer Kenley Jansen, who saved a N.L.-leading 41 games for Atlanta, averaged 29.4 seconds in between pitches, the third longest period of time amongst pitchers with no less than 50 innings, in keeping with Fangraphs.

Atlanta General Manager Alex Anthopoulos called Jansen, who ranks eighth on the profession list with 391 saves, a future Hall of Famer. He said that Jansen, who’s a free agent and whom Atlanta would love to retain, has successfully reinvented himself several times throughout his profession and believed that he would adapt again.

“I’d bet on that guy each day of the week,” he said. He added later in regards to the effects of the brand new rules, including the pitch clock, on players, “I just think we don’t know. We’ll discuss it. We’ll have a look at it. We will’t make definitive statements. We will have general ideas and thoughts. I do think that with data and knowledge, good players are good players, right? They usually’re going to regulate.”

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