Chicago Cubs: The league continues to experiment with potential changes
By David Miniel
Last year, the Chicago Cubs won Game 7 by rallying in the 10th inning over the Cleveland Indians. Fast forward a few months and the league is wanting to test a new extra-innings rule.
While the future remains bright for the Chicago Cubs, Major League Baseball is looking into some new rules. For instance, tweaking the strike zone and eliminating the four-pitch intentional walk.
Two specific details of that game that I, personally, wouldn’t mind seeing something different. Especially when it comes to pitchers such as Jon Lester. Guys who are unable to throw to bases and have a tendency of giving up extra bags.
Again, that’s perfectly fine. However, it has been reported by multiple websites, including CBS Sports, that the league will be testing something out in 2017. The “Fatigue Effect”.
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Mainly rookie ball, so minor league games. What the league wants to do is ease the pressure of a skipper having to use up their entire bullpen if a game forces them to use up all their arms. Eventually, dipping into their starting rotation.
Every once in a while, a manager will have no choice but to call on a starting pitcher who has been resting for a few days. This results in the manager having to push their next start and using either a spot starter from the bullpen or call someone up.
Back in 2009, the World Baseball Classic adopted almost the same exact rule. Only they had runners on first and second starting in the 13th inning. The rules for this year were released by MLB.com and it was announced that spotted runners will start in the 11th.
It’s one thing to make these changes for the WBC but Major League Baseball? I’m not entirely sure how pleased teams would be with this rule. Specifically, the Chicago Cubs who won 10 plus extra-inning games back in 2015.
Picture this, the Cubs and Cardinals are battling it out for the N.L. Central title, right? St. Louis is spotted the extra runner due to the new rule and jump all over Joe Maddon‘s reliever.
For former Cubs’ closer Aroldis Chapman, he didn’t do too well when coming into the game with runners already on base. Could you imagine his frustration of having to deal with that? Yes, I know he is primarily used prior to extras but it’s just an example.
Now, what if the role was reversed? Surely, fans of the opposing team wouldn’t be pleased if the Cubs’ red-hot offense managed to drive in run-after-run, starting with the guy on second.
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I’m aware that there are 162 games in a year and it can cause stress and fatigue for those men who take the field. But this is why every manager goes through roster cuts during Spring Training.
Provide your team with enough depth and when you have to, dip into your farm system. But maybe it’s just me. I’m interested to hear what you guys have to say about this topic. Are you for change or want the league to keep things the way they are?