More Thoughts on the Changing Game

During the Cubs – Rockies Wild Card, I was talking about the difference between the new advanced analytics and traditional “get him on, get him over, get him in” baseball.

Now as I’m watching Josh Hader say “Hello!” to a large part of the baseball nation that may not have seen his nastiness, I’m thinking about the changing approach to pitching.

There’s a lot being made of the way that managers are handling their rotations and their bullpens, both in the postseason and in the long regular season.  Kevin Cash in Tampa Bay has put the evolution of the game in our face, putting it to the forefront of the conversation.  Using Sergio Romo as an “opener,” and other pieced together pitching situations, the experimental nature of the Rays season yielded them 90 wins.

A lot of people don’t like this evolution.  I don’t love it… but I’m not against a little change.

This game one of the NLCS escalated early, it already felt like a deep inning chess match after only three innings.  And many fans say that there’s no strategy left in the game of the DH.  Well, whether we’re watching a game in the American or National League, this new style of finding nine innings of outs adds more moves more often.

Great, slower pace, right?

That’s another story.

But… like it or not… this got me thinking about baseball scouts.  What kind of vision do they see for the game? Do they continue to scout for front of the rotation workhorses?  What part of the game will that still play?

Or, are forward thinking scouts starting to consider farming for starters to convert to three inning monsters?  Surely there’s got to be a team out there, looking for a leg up on the Red Sox, the Dodgers, the Yankees, the Astros, the Cubs, the Indians, the other juggernauts.  Many teams can’t compete with the payroll, nor have the minor league prospects stockpiled to match firepower with the big guns.

Will Tampa continue this trend and show us something new, top of the roster to the bottom, built around this new approach?

Will some other team rise from mediocrity to show us the way the game is changing?  The Royals showed us that you could win in the home run environment with speed, defense, and pesky hitting.  The Cubs and the Astros showed us exactly how a monster is built with young talent.  It’ll be fun to see the next franchise the shows us a new way to win.

I like the way the game is changing.  There I said it.  What are your thoughts?



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