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Ask BD: Three-batter minimum and shortstop plans

MLB: 2019 Spring Training Media Days Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Will Manfred and his henchmen atop MLB...

really stick with their plan to begin to use a “3 batter rule vs a pitcher unless inning ends” in 2020?

I say no – it’s too drastic a change in the strategy of managing a bullpen. But then, what do I know? I guess that’s why I’m asking!

Posted by mazalleydp1966

I expect it’s set in stone. The union has agreed not to file a grievance over the rule, which is something MLB had to bargain for. That’s hard to do and I can’t imagine they’d have gone to that trouble unless they were determined to do it.

As much as I hate the endless pitching changes, it’s definitely a stupid rule. Pitching changes should be driven by sound strategy, not whimsical rules. The worst situation will be in some key game, like with a playoff spot on the line, where you’d expect a team to pull out all the stops. If Matt Carpenter is up and Paul Goldschmidt on deck with a playoff spot at stake, the other team should be able to get the platoon advantage if that’s what they want.

But you can’t underestimate the degree to which every. last. thing. MLB does is driven by money. They think the pace of games is hurting their revenue and they’re going to do everything possible to change that. These are people who give out a cheesy prize for the team that saves the most pennies in arbitration and establish non-livable wages for kids trying to make it as pros, to the point of spending big lobbying bucks to bribe members of Congress for special legislation aimed specially at their ability to screw over 20-year-olds. They couldn’t care less whether a rule change makes sense from a sporting standpoint.

Just noticed Erik Gonzalez has 3 years of arbitration left

No way they carry 3 short stops next year. What do you think the future plan is at ss and which guy do you see eventually getting traded or cut (would like to think tucker is untouchable).

Posted by Bucs.Fan

No doubt the plan is Tucker. Gonzalez has no options left and Kevin Newman does, so the most likely move, unless Newman plays noticeably better than Gonzalez, would be to send Newman to AAA and keep Gonzalez as a backup and utility guy. There’s no way Clint Hurdle is going into next year with a rookie in a regular role and no veteran fallback. Of course, that’s assuming Tucker has a good year at Indianapolis.

will Michael Feliz be recalled

and do a great job in the bullpen? (the 2019 version of Rodriguez)

Posted by Ecbucs

It’s getting harder to see this happening. Feliz is like the anti-Trevor Williams. Thanks to high K rates, he has good-looking analytical stats, but somehow he keeps giving up bombs. He and Williams seem determined to ruin xFIP, for opposite reasons. The pattern continued this spring he gave up five dingers in just a dozen innings. In his first two games at Indianapolis, he’s fanned five in just three innings, but also given up four hits and a walk. Small sample sizes, but extensions of a long-established pattern. I don’t know why, but Feliz can’t seem to get it together and they’ll probably have better options. Brandon Maurer, for one, pitched well late in spring training and in his first two games with Indy.