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Replying to Minors Pilot Program


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rsnyder6

Posted 10 September 2017 - 05:19 PM

Two leagues in our district piloted this, ours being one. This came from LL Int working with MLB.
 
Word got out before the season even started, and some parents went ballistic. I got some literally yelling things at me, most common being "Let the kids play REAL baseball."
 
Since when do Minors play real baseball? I told one parent, who I have known for a while, and is a Yankee fan, that the Yankees don't play real baseball they use a DH. She kind of cooled down.
 
We tried it for a couple weeks, and then had a feedback meeting. There was less opposition after a couple weeks of play than before it was even tried, but it was in general not thought an improvement.  
 
Some of the teams lacking pitching depth liked it because their one or two better pitcher could pitch more innings, since pitch counts were down, and has, as other have noted, an advantage. 
 
It also changed the the typical game length from barely making four innings, to reaching six. And games certainly moved along faster.
 
On the other hand, teams with 2-3 good pitchers could just keep running them out, and that was an advantage.
 
Parents of weak batters hated it, as mentioned previously, batter fouls off the first pitch they are 1-2, and then they would swing at a bad pitch. 
 
It did cut down on the endless walks you can get at this age,
 
Some liked the runners on base to start the inning, if for no other reasons than some kids who never got on base were able to run the bases, and even score. (Early on one parent said the kid ran to the dugout so happy he had crossed home plate, which he rarely did.) Some hated it as one decent hit often scored two in the first at bat.
 
Some like the 1-1 count, mostly because it lowered the pitch counts, and cut down on walks.
 
All in all, the feedback was more negative then positive, though as I said, for the people that gave it a chance, it was less negative as time went on.
 
I thought it didn't sound like it made sense at first, but thinking about it, and watching games, thought it had potential, though many people are so resistant to change.

Apparently the other league only did it for a couple of games, which to me was not long enough to see who it worked. I was interested if other league had tried it.

 

Jeremy

Posted 30 August 2017 - 11:30 PM

Many leagues share a field for Minor and Major baseball and don't have the money to buy a portable mound.

Lou Barbieri

Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:18 PM

Problem with moving the mound closer is it gets more dangerous for the pitchers.
Even in PONY, 9-10 year olds pitch from 46 feet.

With the 5 run limit it allows you to give some more players the opportunity to pitch knowing they can't give up 8 or 9 or 20 runs. Who knows, you might be surprised what you find.

Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:33 PM

The one thing that would improve minors games is to move the mound closer to the plate.
The pitchers would throw more strikes for the hitters to hit.
The game pace would drastically improve and more kids would be available to pitch.
Presently, the 2 kids who can throw strikes get burned up.

Lou Barbieri

Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:03 AM

Doing it in extra innings is one thing, doing it every inning is something else.

In our District Mid-Season Tournaments we start the first "extra inning" with R2, later innings start with R3.
We never start batters with a 1-1 count.

stan.staziak

Posted 17 August 2017 - 12:43 AM

We have been putting R2 in extra's in travel baseball as long as I can remember.
We played a tournament at the 15U level this summer where the 8th inning had R2, 9th had bases loaded to begin the inning.
They clearly were trying to end the games although this was only for the elimination rounds.

Lou Barbieri

Posted 16 August 2017 - 09:51 PM

LL implemented the 5 run rule in Minors so that more innings could be played.
Too many minor games were only 3-4 innings long (too many walks, problems getting 3 outs, etc).

I know of a league that has a local rule for minors that limits every half-inning to 3 outs or 3 runs.
Most of their games now go 6 innings.


I'm not in favor of putting runners on base or starting batters with a 1-1 count (maybe that's just me).

Ron

Posted 16 August 2017 - 06:14 PM

During practices I use 1-1 for each batter.
Trying to force them to be a hitter.
I would not like using it in a game.

I wouldn't mind a runner on 1B or both 1B and 2B in a game.
I already did that during practices so they are familiar with it anyway.

If the program is to speed the game up then I don't like it.
If it is to teach them to play with runners on base I don't mind it, it's Minors.
However, when they go to All Stars the training wheels come off.

Plesh

Posted 16 August 2017 - 05:59 PM

Runners on base in extra innings in upper level/travel tournaments is something I can see as an option to end games sooner.

But for Minors LL, skill development is by far the biggest factor in game time/entertainment/pace of play.
Start with a 3-2 count and bases loaded, if kids can't throw strikes/hit/field the ball, it'll be the same poor quality.

Dave Poe

Posted 16 August 2017 - 05:34 PM

IDK - still mulling it over.
It seems every Minors game I umpired this year (maybe a dozen) (league has a 2 hour limit) barely got through 4 innings.
Not one was a complete game.
Any ball hit to the 3B side was pretty much an infield single.
I can see how it could speed up the game....

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