April 14, 2021

MLB Gets Minor League to Move the Mound Back 1 Foot: Major League Baseball is playing around with the idea of changing the distance from home plate to the pitchers mound for the first time since 1893. The Atlantic League minor league will test a pitching rubber 61 feet and 6 inches from home -- an extra foot beyond the norm. "I love baseball, but the rules aren't written on stone tablets," said Chicago Cubs exec Jed Hoyer.

posted by rcade to baseball at 04:06 PM - 6 comments

"Ninety feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection."

The mound isn't in that Red Smith quote, but on a practical matter, it is, isn't it?

posted by werty at 05:03 PM on April 14, 2021

Would give Houston enough added time to encrypt pitch calls.

posted by beaverboard at 05:18 PM on April 14, 2021

I'm not sure what adding a foot would do to improve the game. Does this give an additional edge to the hitters? If so, it's not much. Assuming a 90 mph fastball, the ball will travel 60 feet 6 inches in a little over 458 milliseconds (60.5 ft 132 ft/sec). Moving the pitcher's plate (rubber) back to 61 feet 6 inches increases the transit time to a little under 466 milliseconds. The difference is about 8 milliseconds. This assumes that the pitch is released exactly over the pitcher's plate, which it never is, but since the difference would be the same regardless of mound to plate distance, it can be disregarded. What might come into play is that there could be additional vertical and horizontal movement on a pitch. If Bernoulli's Principle and gravity have more time to work, the result will be pitches that move more. This would seem to favor the pitcher, but pitchers would need to adjust their delivery on breaking balls and their release point on off-speed pitches. In summary, I dislike the idea. A lot!

posted by Howard_T at 06:11 PM on April 14, 2021

How do hitters and pitchers adjust to this? Doesn't it throw off the timing they've spent a long time establishing? And even if that's negligible in reality, doesn't it get into their heads that it is the cause of all that ails them? Did I ask too many questions?

posted by rcade at 07:30 PM on April 14, 2021

Might give the hitter an extra few milliseconds to read the pitch and react. Possibly advantage hitter on fastball and pitcher on breaking ball.

Opens the door for a Tim Wakefield comeback.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:22 AM on April 15, 2021

The Ringer had an article a while back on some of the reasons for it (possibly against it) and possible impacts.

posted by LionIndex at 05:52 PM on April 15, 2021

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