Manny and the Pitch Clock
As Spring Training games started up a couple of weeks ago, a lot of focus was given to the new rule changes that will go into affect this season. Of these, the new pitch clock got the most attention. Most people are taking a wait and see approach before jumping to conclusions about it. I’ll do the same, though I will say that I’ve really enjoyed the pace of play in the games I’ve watched so far.
One bit of news around this was when Manny Machado was guilty of the first violation of the pitch clock. In his case, it was because he took too long to get into the box for the first pitch of his plate appearance, so a strike was called and he started 0-1 before a pitch was even thrown.
Machado was philosophical about it, saying he’d have to make an adjustment, but also essentially saying he could see himself being “down 0-1 a lot this year,” implying he may decide not to adjust much at all.
On the one hand, that might be a healthy way to approach the new rule, and if he’s that confident in his ability to take a strike but still control the at-bat, more power to him.
On the other hand, it’s possible that someone from the Padres may want to get in Machado’s ear a bit, because this is the difference between Machado’s career plate appearances after starting 1-0 versus 0-1:
A difference of over 200 points of OPS may be something the Padres want him to be aware of. And if they point that out to him, I would hope he’d spend a little less time enjoying his walkup music.
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