FanPost

Pitch clock troubles?

I may have posted something on this before.. but MLB will introduce a tighter pitch clock in 2023 - which will allow pitchers 15 seconds between when the catcher returns the ball and the pitch is released with bases empty and only 20 seconds when there are runners on.

More than a few Phillies pitchers may have trouble with this according to data from Baseball Savant on pitching tempo, corrected by recommendation of Fivethirtyeight (-6 seconds) to be similar to the timer equivalent. The Phillies in 2022 who were slowest to the plate were Hand and Bellatti. Hand is gone, but Andrew Bellatti has a median tempo which is 3.5 seconds higher than the pitch clock rule with no runners. That's a median not a max - so it indicates Bellatti has some work to do. Jose Alvarado is also slower than the rules with his median but by only a second (still not a good sign). New Phillie Matt Strahm and Aaron Nola are near the rule with their median, indicating they threw quite a few pitches over the rule limit in 2022. The next slowest would be Seranthony Dominguez. Other pitchers (Falter, Nelson, Wheeler, Suarez, & Walker) are not in too much danger under the new rules, Suarez is a known fast tempo pitcher. New Phillie Walker has the fastest tempo among the 2023 Phillies staff (so far).

I thought it would also be useful to look at this for the yet available Free Agents pitchers the Phillies may have interest in and the principals among our divisional rivals. Among free agents, Aroldis Chapman is the slowpoke with a median comparable to Bellatti's. Alex Colombe and Brad Hand are also in the red in so far as the pitch clock is concerned. Craig Kimbrel, Taylor Rogers, and Adam Ottavino have tempos slower than allowed by the rules. Will Smith, Matt Moore, Andrew Chafin, and Corey Knebel have tempos of some concern, but not in the range of those above. Among Starters, Nathan Eovaldi and Zach Grienke have mid-range tempos - not fast, but workable. Michael Wacha and Michael Fulmer are fast workers.

The Braves and Mets may have fewer problems than the Phillies as few of their principal pitchers push the rule limits. Braves reliever AJ Minter may have some pitch clock problems and Met Justin Verlander is not a faster worker. It is logical that former rookie Spencer Strider who has probably pitched under a tighter clock for most of his (short) career has no problems, but also Edwin Diaz, David Robertson, Charlie Morton, Raisel Iglesias, Max Scherzer, Kyle Wright and Marlin Sandy Alcantara also work well within the pitch clock.