“I don’t think the impact of cutting it down by a few seconds between pitches in the ninth inning for a guy that is throwing 20 pitches is going to be the difference,” Falvey claimed. “For a starting pitcher, maybe. For a guy who is going to be a little bit more deliberate between pitches, I can see that.”
M.L.B. had a pitch clock last season in the minor leagues. The injury rates declined and velocity was flat.
Dombrowski noted that young pitchers who played in the minor leagues last season have already adjusted to shorter intervals between pitches. He said that the major leaguers working at maximum effort who work slowly will be able to do so. “they’re going to have to make an adjustment.”
He continued, “I assume they’ll be able to, but it might mess some of them up, there’s no doubt about that.”
Fangraphs revealed that Kenley Jansen, a long-time closer, saved an N.L.-leading 41 games in Atlanta. He averaged 29.4 seconds between pitches last season. This was the longest time of any pitcher with at least 50 innings.
Alex Anthopoulos, Atlanta General Manager, called Jansen (8th on the career list, with 391 saves), a future Hall of Famer. He explained that Jansen, a free agent who Atlanta would love to retain, had reinvented himself many times during his career and that he believed he could adapt again.
“I’d bet on that guy every day of the week,” He added. He later spoke out about the impact of the new rules on players, which included the pitch clock. “I just think we don’t know. We’ll talk about it. We’ll look at it. We can’t make definitive statements. We can have general ideas and thoughts. I do think that with data and information, good players are good players, right? And they’re going to adjust.”