Don’t Blame The Clock For Bad Mechanics!

Many fans and sports reporters in Chicago are trying to find every reason why the Cubs should place Starting Pitcher Kyle Hendricks on the Injured List because of his rough start to the season. Also, the season started three weeks ago there have also been a number of other pitchers around the league who have landed on the Injured List and are out for the season needing Tommy John surgery. In today’s article I will discuss Hendricks’ stats as well as the newer pitching rules that have changed the game we all know and love in ways that some fans are starting to dislike the game.

Leading off this conversation we need to look at Hendricks’ stats since he made his Major League Debut in 2014 before the Pitch Clock was being widely used in Double-A and Triple-A (Source: MiLB.com 1/15/15).  Going into his fifth start this year on Sunday Hendricks has an 0-2 record with a 12.71 era in 17 innings. According to FanGraphs he as struggled in March/April games his entire career with an overall era of 5.58.

Many Cubs fans are whining about how bad he is compared to the glory days of 2016 thru 2018 blaming his mechanics, the Pitch Clock, and even his velocity. Cubs fans need to stop their whining about his and/or his velocity being inconsistent/lower because of the Pitch Clock since NCAA games have used it since 2011 when he was in college according to Sporting News. This means when he had to abide by Pitch Clock rules during his one college season before being drafted by the Texas Rangers.

Let’s go out to Detroit where Starting Pitcher Sawyer Gipson-Long is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on Monday according to CBS Sports. He is not the only one who is out getting Tommy John surgery either. There are a number of other pitchers around the league who have not hit their prime and a couple of which who have not made their major league debuts yet who will be getting Tommy John surgery this season. Is this a result of the Pitch Clock? Maybe, but not in the way most fans would think. While more milage is being put on their arms because of the Pitch Clock all of these guys have been come up through the Minors with a Pitch Clock… so, the pitch clock is not causing the injuries, low velocity, or their bad mechanics.

Then why are the breaking down so fast, you ask? Simple. The league added the Pitch Clock was added to speed up games and they made the clock so short that it is adding unnecessary milage on the pitchers arms leading to them having to get Tommy John surgery and go through rehab.

Let’s not forget that before the 2017 season there are two other rules that were added or changed to help speed up games: Three Batter Minimum and the Intentional Walk rules. Many fans have been whining for the last few years about these rules, specifically the Intentional Walk rule because it removes the chance for a good batter to get a base hit on a ball or a base runner to advance on a wild pitch. While it is easy to understand how that might annoy fans the purpose of an Intentional Walk in my eyes is to avoid runs from scoring. As a result, using the intentional walk to set up a potential double play by not requiring a pitch to be thrown makes complete sense and requires managers to find other ways to be strategic.

Here’s the thing folks: The pitch clock is going no where because according to The Ringer umpires have been giving it lip services since 1957. Also, it is unlikely that the Intentional Walk rule which was added in 2017 will ever go away. However, it is quite possible that the three batter minimum or mound visit limitations could be modified or taken away.

With that… it is almost time for first pitch at out Wrigley.

If you cannot play with them, then root for them.

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