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Atlantic League Introduces 61' 6" Mound Experiment


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The Atlantic League, one of MLB's partner leagues, introduced a new experiment this August, moving the pitching rubber back a foot from the traditional 60' 6" mark to 61' 6". We visit the York Revolution vs Lancaster Barnstormers game to see the ALPB's historic first pitch from an extra foot behind...

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What about the extra strain on the arm to get that curve ball to drop at the knees rather than in the dirt, and that high curve to stop dropping into the automatic home run hitting area.

what level do you start putting in the extra distance so the arm can build up the strength, to be drafted after high school and when would you implement it after it would become a new rule if it does.

How much time would the extra pounding on the arm take from a career so Borzas could start asking for more money, starting right out the box when pitchers are drafted.

Why not drop the mound level some more. Seems like mounds were flat on the ground at some point in the baseball evolution.

Or, with technology, when we do go to robot technology, just keep changing/tweaking the strike zone/hawk eye settings vertically and horizontally without telling anyone/programmers signing non disclosure/top secret, if they don't already, agreements, to get the batting average/home run and e.r.a./strikeouts pitching mix desired.

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Frankly, I'm not convinced the hardest throwers today are throwing any harder than the guys in the 80's/90's...there are certainly more of them, but (having a hard time find a link) I saw a recent video showing side-by-side, frame-by-frame comparisons of today's pitchers to ones 20-30 years ago showing that the pitch is getting to the plate in the same amount of time.

I think how the speed is being measured has changed, from where the ball's speed is measured (hand vs plate), and potentially the accuracy of the equipment...and I think there is some marketing and ego-stroking going on here too, with a little industry wide upwards adjustment.   I'm equating it to the industry wide shift in dropping women's clothing sizes by about four numbers across the board a couple of decades back.

 

Spin rate is more a factor than speed.   Most MLBers don't care how fast the ball is going if it doesn't move from its path.

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10 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

I saw a recent video showing side-by-side, frame-by-frame comparisons of today's pitchers to ones 20-30 years ago showing that the pitch is getting to the plate in the same amount of time.

Here is a breakdown of the possible flaws in such a comparison for you to consider

 

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11 hours ago, Velho said:

Here is a breakdown of the possible flaws in such a comparison for you to consider

Don't get me wrong...I had considered all those factors when watching the videos.   Yes, there's a margin of error, and yes, Randy Johnson was always closer to the plate than anyone else.  Frames rates and video tech, sure...otherwise you'd have to believe that Dizzy Dean threw 180 mph and Babe Ruth ran faster than Usain Bolt.

And to my point, the margin of error between measuring velocity at hand, midpoint and plate is just as great as anything this guy says.  And the margin of error between today's tech and yesteryear's is just as great.

I had also developed my thinking long before seeing that MLB Network video.

His conclusion in the end about Ripken implying batters getting worse is disingenuous at best.   The pitchers AND the batters are getting better.  And no one suggested otherwise.

There are MORE pitchers throwing at top velocity, as a percentage of the whole, than before...so batters get no reprieve. 

There are pitchers that can throw that hard for an inning or two, and then get replaced by another throwing just as hard.

There are more pitchers throwing with more effective movement, and spin rate, and disguising their pitches better.

Batters don't get the chance to learn a pitcher over multiple at bats in a game like they once did.  Most starters won't see a batter a third time...or maybe just a few batters (not all nine)...only the elite will see batters a fourth time.

Batters don't get the stat padding late inning at bats against a pitcher who is throwing not only slower, but with less movement/accuracy, in the late innings.

Relievers are at a higher quality...not necessarily "worse" than starting pitchers...just lacking stamina (or they only have two MLB quality pitches instead of three or four)

So, batters are at an inherent disadvantage first and foremost...even though they are much better, fundamentally/physically, than those who played 30 years ago.

And, on top of all that, batters are willing to sacrifice average and strikeouts for slugging.  All of those are at play and the last one is, likely, the biggest factor in lower averages today.   

NOT, purely, velocity.

I said it before and I'll say it again...and I can talk from experience...95 mph ain't nothing if it doesn't move.  Yes, fundamentally, 95 is harder to hit than 85...if for no other reason you have some time to think and react (and make sure the thing is in a spot where you can hit it)...but the HOF is littered with pitchers who lived in the 85-88 range because they could hit their location, and they could run the ball into/away from the batter.

 

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