Rapid Fire Deadline Review

Hustle’s $.02

 

 

I’m not looking up stats or anything so my hot takes will be worse than usual.  I’m busy tomorrow too, but I did have a story I wanted to share. This deadline reminds me of growing up in Los Angeles. I would wait in the kitchen while my Mom would fold some dough over a jelly filling and bake it. Once it was cooked and cooled off she’d hand it to me and say “Enjoy the Turnover”

And now to some rosters that had some turnover

 

rocky mtn oysters trades away
2018 Draft Pick, Round 3 (rocky mtn oysters)
McMahon, Ryan
Kiermaier, Kevin

The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses trades away
Arrieta, Jake
2018 Draft Pick, Round 4 (The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses)
2018 Draft Pick, Round 5 (The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses)
Tapia, Raimel AND $11

I think this is a big get for Dusty. I think Tapia and KK are pretty close, not even sure where’d I’d lean. I’m assuming Tapia is cheaper and gets hurt less?  McMahon is probably worth $11 of Auction money, maybe less. Maybe $7? It’s close.  But then one side gets an Arrietta rental?  Since WFBD wasnt going to keep Jake, it’s not that terrible but I’m not sure you take Arrietta out of the deal and Dusty’s side doesn’t win….let alone with. Seems like a big bonus in Arrietta for an alleged marginal upgrade.

rocky mtn oysters trades away
Bundy, Dylan

The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses trades away
2018 Draft Pick, Round 3 (rocky mtn oysters)

3rd round pick isn’t incredibly valuable.  If you weren’t keeping Bundy, take a 3rd rounder.  If you want to roll with Bundy, that’s fine. I guess I lean the Bundy side coming off an 8 IP performance. Bundy can audition for WFBD and if all is good, $11 is nothing for a starter you like. If Dusty was contemplating just dropping Bundy in a month, this is much better.  I always prefer to get something for nothing.

 

Hustle Loyalty Respect trades away
2019 Draft Pick, Round 5 (Team Hydra)

Team Hydra trades away
2019 Draft Pick, Round 5 (Hustle Loyalty Respect)

They have three heads, but I’m three steps ahead of them.

 

TBD trades away
Arozarena, Randy
Burnes, Corbin

We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away
Upton, Justin AND $5

Don’t know much about Randy, but seems like a whatever outfielder who doesn’t project to hit for a lot of power. If you like a prospect, you like a prospect.  Burnes has gotten a lot of hype this year, so he seems like a good T-50-100 prospect. No issues with duping 65 or whatever dollar uptotn. How did Upton go for that much in a draft?  Better than nothing.  I don’t see why TBD would say no to the deal without the $5.  WTFS has a lot of cash next year without Upton, Scherzer, and Buxton.  They are going to have to make some really smart buys to compete. Also in my last review I failed to mention they have German Marquez as one of their pitchers to keep, so that does make their rotation a tad better than I had initially thought after losing Max.

 

Team Hydra trades away
Kluber, Corey AND $5

TBD trades away
Keller, Mitch
Syndergaard, Noah

 

I like this trade for both teams, i might even like it more for Hydra. I don’t know anything about what Thor is going to do this year or next. It makes sense for TBD to go hard at Kluber to go for a win this year. It’s a strong move. I do like it for Hyrdra cheaper price (although the $5 cancels some of that out) and younger age, Noah is a better keeper so long as he’s 100%… and then getting a top SP prospect like Keller on top. It makes sense for both teams. Plus the last team to trade for Kluber went on to win the championship.  Mets pitchers though…

 

Great Deadline Everyone!

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Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports| Capital City Income

Capital City Income trades away
Happ, Ian ($0 prospect)
Faria, Jake ($0 prospect)
2018 Draft Pick, Round 1 (The Foundation)
Owings, Chris ($8)

We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away
Scherzer, Max ($88)
2018 Draft Pick, Round 3 (Hustle Loyalty Respect)

$10 Auction Dollars 2018

 

 

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Controversy

 

A bitter angry source (not really but maybe kinda) who will remain nameless (but hint: there is a vowel in his first name) has come forward saying he had a deal agreed to for Max Scherzer but this one was accepted instead. I had a chance to review the package ( ͡º ͜ʖ ͡º) from my source and I think it’s relatively on par with the one Bailey offered. The centerpiece in that deal I believe has more upside than anyone acquired here, but was also considerably more unproven.

 

Hustle’s EXTRA ULTRA TOXIC $.02

 

I guess we should really look at this trade through WTFS’ eye. For Bailey? He’s getting one of the 3 best pitchers in the game. He’s losing 2b depth, but for this year at least he has Neil Walker, Howie Kendrick, or Marwin Gonzalez who could slot in there. I think worst case scenario he’s averaging maybe .5-1 ppg less from his 2b spot for the rest of this season, but probably not. The value Max will give to his team more than makes up for it. Additionally his team looks like a monster for next year It’s a big win for CCI.   Not sure if the market might have cooled because Max slept on his neck poorly one night, but it might have. Ultimately, can you really trust a guy with different colored eyes?

 

Per Keith, WTFS has 423 next to spend next year and that’s before dumping Buxton (BREAKING NEWS) and Upton resulting in an additional $90. That alone pays for Scherzer IN FULL with decent money left over. You’re not going to get someone as good as Scherzer in auction with the 130 or whatever they will have, so why not just keep him? Additionally looking at WTFS rotation next year we see Faria, Moore, and Kennedy. There is no way getting around the fact that this is bad. You can add some pieces in auction, but it’s a gamble thinking you’re going to walk away with more than 1 quality SP all year from auction. For those that have gotten 2 or more this year, kudos… I think you’re in the minority…. And I am not one of you.

 

Looking at the assets. The headliner is Ian Happ who is cost controlled for another 6 seasons. Currently averaging 5.56 ppg (I really should do points per pa like Bailey does, but haven’t figured that out yet). I like Ian Happ a good amount and he certainly seems like a long term keeper for WTFS, but if his upside isn’t being an elite guy, then I don’t like this as a headline piece. Furthermore, one of the most attractive parts of Ian Happ is that he will only cost $1 next season. A $1 and 5.5 ppg or even 6ppg 2b for $1… rookie on the Cubs?… SIGN ME UP! But when you have over $100 cap space and you’re giving up $10 to do it, the $1 deal is considerably less valuable. You might as well think of Ian Happ as $11 next year, which is still a great price for current pace. Faria is nice but I think is clearly overachieving, his LOB % is still over 80%, FIP 3.8, XFIP 4.5. He is potentially a decent starter to keep for a few years. Chris Owings is $10 next year and is averaging 4.7 ppg this year. He’s probably a keeper? Unexciting but useful. I like draft picks, but best case scenario you’re getting a back end top 100 guy here with this pick.

 

I guess I don’t love this package. I’m not sure the tipping point is the $10 or not, but it might be. If the plan is to compete for next season, I think this trade is a lose for WTFS barring Scherzer’s performance and health. A pitcher can lose it at any point and quick or get hurt, as we saw with Thor earlier this year.

 

There are a lot of mid range good cost pieces coming back to Keith here, but nothing really game changing. Nothing that’s really going to compete with a core of elite talent like Scherzer, Mccutchen, Stanton, Carrasco, Bellinger, and Denard Span….supplemented with useful good cost pieces. Other top teams based on point scored are similarly built.

 

Auction budget doesn’t guarantee you much, Squids had overwhelmingly the most of it last auction and wasted $70 on Richards and Harvey. $70 alone was more than double some teams had to spend this last auction and they have done almost nothing for Squids. Looking at Squids Auction he hit on a $42 Keuchel, but that’s not a super value going forward. He also had plenty of other wasted picks like $18 on Alex Gordon and $23 on Shelby Miller. For the record, my auction was probably worse than his… I just had less money so I’m focusing on the guy who had the most.

I spent about the same amount on Smyly and Rodon.  Rodon has had maybe 1 ok game in my lineup along with a -42…. And when you combine those two scores for negative whatever… it’s still more than the 0 Smyly has given me.

 

This is a long way of me saying….expensive priced players like Scherzer are good for your team if they are good. Cap space is considerably overrated. David Price is going to be in the auction, but there are going to be quite a few teams that can drop more than $50 on a player if they want, and there aren’t going to be many players (if any) who you will feel great about paying $50 for. I know this won’t happen, but if you’re a team that’s out of it, it’s not the worst idea to deal some prospects for a proven $20-50 guy who you want to keep next year.

There are quite a few teams already where I am comfortable writing off their 2018 chances of a championship. Anything is possible as Kevin Garnett once said (you could be 1st place in august with 10th most points in August), but it’s going to be an incredibly difficult task. Multiple teams building for 2020 isn’t wise because well, multiple teams are doing it. Additionally, the top teams aren’t going to start sucking. Many of them have better farm systems than the teams who actually need them.

Ultimately I don’t like this trade for Keith because he has a ton of cap space and his pitching for next year looks in trouble. If the plan is to build long term and tap out for 2018, I might have opted for more upside.  The ways this does work out for Keith is

 

  • Scherzer has a lengthy injury
  • He becomes not an Ace. At 33 years old, it’s not crazy and Scherzer likely doesn’t have more than a couple years of this level left.
  • Faria stays this good and Happ improves.

 

So, I think this trade could work out for Keith, I just don’t love the probability of it.

Like the referees told UNC after Chris Webber called a timeout with no timeouts left. “Enjoy the Turnover”.

Trade: Capital City Income | Pre Season Double Stuffs

 

Capital City Income trades away
Urías, Julio ($1, first controlled year)

Preseason Double Stuffs trades away
Cabrera, Miguel ($73)

Hustle’s $.02

First things first. We must recall that a little over a year ago PDS acquired Miggy from CCI.  In sum from these two deals Bailey got a 1st round pick (Senzel…which was the center piece for Stanton), Soler (which was a big piece in his acquisition for Mccutchen), Ian Happ, Bellinger, and I guess Brett Phillips for damaged goods Urias and Blake Snell If I’m missing vital parts of these two transactions, I’ll be happy to edit.

CII gets reunited with Miggy. Miguel Cabrera is having a disappointing year and at his age, there’s a pretty high chance he’s not getting kept at $75.  That being said, I don’t think he’s dead (unlike Urias). His numbers are down, most notably his slugging, but I kind of don’t buy one of the best hitters of all-time is done at 34.  5 points a game is a disappointment by Miggy standards, but I think better times are ahead. David Ortiz had some bad stretches in his mid 30s and was a superstar late, and I don’t think he was the hitter in his prime Miggy was.

I totally get a rebuilding and moving on from Miggy and getting whatever value you can, but looking at PDS’s roster there aren’t a lot of cost commitments here. I see well under $100 bucks of keepable pitching and probably under $250 of keepable hitting. I’d say those figures are conservative and should be lower  I’d say at a minimum (without other trades) PDS is going to have a ton of cash in the next auction. Auction cash is great, I probably overrate it more than most people, but having good players is better.  PDS current projected 2018 roster highlights seem to be JD Martinez, Schoop, Jordan Montgonery (one of the year’s best pickups) and I guess Lance Lynn. All nice players. . That being said, I think this core is going to struggle in 2018, which is perfect for Urias , because I don’t think he’ll be pitching much in 2018.

As a Dodgers fan, I hope I’m wrong, but Urias’ effective or even complete career may be over.  I think Bailey was very wise to get what he could for Urias now, because the best case scenario is he’ll be an OK pitcher in 2019. He’s damaged goods.

Urias’s injury sends shock waves through the Dodgers’ organization as only a handful of pitchers have ever had this surgery, and only Chris Young of the Royals has come back and pitched effectively at the Major League level after it.  Other pitchers who had capsule surgery are Rich Harden, Mark Prior, and Johan Santana.”

Chris Young Royals upside!  I mean, he won a World Series pitching for them. #ringz.

We were all really excited that first minor league draft and Urias was in the mix to be #1 overall. I think the shine has wore off considerably just because of this unfortunate injury. At least Urias will be DL eligible throughout the entire recovery process so a roster spot won’t be wasted. I expect Urias to give PDS very little if anything next year, but at least his $3 or whatever will be a drop in the bucket and won’t prevent them from spending on available assets.

Just for fun. JUST FOR FUN.  Top 10 things I’d rather have than Julio Urias right now. (Again, I truly hope I’m wrong about Urias’ career.)

1) one first round pick

2) Aaron Hicks

3) $6 auction dollars.

4)  Jordan’s greed dollar in perpetuity

5) Byron Buxton (so I have the ability to cut him.)

6) Tyler Oneil

7) Miguel Cabrera

8) Wander Javier‘s younger brother

9) The right to mention _____ in a trade review not involving him.

10) A damaged good prospect who has a lot of value in trade.

I know you all thought I would mention Sucre, but I take this seriously.

 

 

Trade: RockyMountain Oysters | Pre Season Double Stuffs

 

THE REVIEW

rocky mtn oysters trades away
López, Reynaldo ($1) *prospect controlled

Preseason Double Stuffs trades away
Pirela, José ($3)

 

Word on the street was Priela was on the market today.   This trade was good for both teams.  Priela isn’t a great major leaguer and Lopez isn’t a great prospect. I think Ferns got some more upside here. It’s essentially a free look at Lopez later this year.  All it cost him was a relatively unknown Padres prospect that was picked up off the wire a little over a month ago.

Priela has averaged over 6 points a game so far and has been a very useful piece. I think those ppg comes down, but there’s certainly some value here.  Dusty’s team already has great 2b/LF flexibility with guys like Cano, Chris Taylor, Gyorko, Gardner etc.  Dusty didn’t need to do this trade, but at the same time I don’t think he gave up much. Lopez has a 4.41 FIP in AAA this year with an 8.6 k/9.

Fine trade for both teams in their current spots in the standings.  I’m not sure which or either of these guys will be kept because it could go a number of ways for both these players in the 2nd half.

 

*Disclaimer: I felt since Dusty was involved with this trade, I should be allowed to mention his name. I’m not sure what his preference is on the matter, but for the sake of trade review integrity I must. Remember

Trade: Senior Squids | Capital City Income

 

Hill, Rich ($15)
2020 Draft Pick, Round 3 (Capital City Income)

Senior Squids trades away
Gattis, Evan ($9)
2020 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Senior Squids

 

Hustle’s $.02

From a value standpoint. I think the trade is pretty even. Rich Hill clearly is the more risk reward player here and probably warrants the pick upgrade. This pick upgrade is for 2020 so it could be an upgrade of one pick or as many as 32. I’m going to guess in between.

For Bailey: I understand the appeal. He has some pitcher depth (after acquiring Happ/Vargas) and having a capable 2nd catcher is very useful in this league. Currently he has Martin as his guy, and that’s likely not to change on most nights. Catchers get hurt, and Gattis is a huge upgrade to anything he could get on the wire. It’s also useful for those days Martin just won’t play.  It was about 2.5 months ago when Bailey traded away a 3rd rounder (essentially), Chris Carter, and Grichuk for  Hill.  Grichuk has been worthless and won’t be kept and Chris Carter has been a sparingly useful 1b/UTIl (5 pph) on the last place team.  So he’s played musical chairs with some assets and ended up with a very nice backup catcher. If Rich Hill does get it going, this may look foolish with the current pitching landscape. I’d say on the surface this looks like Bailey selling high after one of Hill’s best starts, but it’s not like the sell-high netted too much.

Bailey’s Rating: /5 Sticks

 

For Elton: We’ll find out pretty soon how this deal goes, because Rich Hill is the only real factor here. I think he’s going to either be a very good-great pitcher averaging close to or over 30 ppg or he’s going to continue to implode and the Dodgers will give him less starts and perhaps put him in the pen.  He’s basically either a $30-40 pitcher or a $0 one. The Dodgers paid him, so he’ll get his chance, but there are some red flags in healthy, age, some diminished stuff, and the Dodgers have a plethora of options.

In a year where pitching is so difficult is the answer to just get more bullets or just strengthening your hitting and hope for the best on pitching? Squids is clearly doing the former.

The catcher isn’t so much a need for Squids because he has Zunino and Gary Sanchez. For me, this is a low risk “I’m going for it” deal.  At 5-7 Squids chances at playoffs are losing steam each week so he needs to do something now and pitching is his biggest need. If he thinks he can do it, then I really like this deal for him.  If he doesn’t make playoffs and Rich Hill is a pumpkin, then he loses a trade chip in Gattis, but hardly a significant one.

Squids Ratings Rating   / 5 Sticks

 

 

 

Trade: Team Hydra | Capital City Income

 

Team Hydra trades away
Vargas, Jason ($3)
Happ, J.A. ($5)

Capital City Ironmen trades away
Ray, Corey
Travis, Devon ($11)

Hustle’s .02

When I went to take a piss at 5 in the morning I checked my phone and saw the email notification of this trade. With my senses barely there, I though this was a steal for Bailey.  Having had my breakfast, coffee, and shower…I pondered the trade some more.  I still think this is a good trade for Bailey, but more justified from Hydra’s stand point.

Firstly, I’m not a big Corey Ray fan. Moderate power and some above average speed which isn’t worth a lot in this format. In 2017 he’s striking out a ton with a .148 ISO in High A. If it wasn’t for him being the 5th pick last year (and a top 3 pick in our draft) he’d be completely off my radar.  He’s still a bit away, isn’t that exciting (to me), and plays a deep position where you’ll really need to produce to be a contributor. On the other side, he’s young and has the pedigree to improve and be an impact player.

Devon Travis at $13 next year?  This was famously a Dusty trade and  drop and I believe the biggest FAAB acquisition in league history (Otani aside). I think a healthy Devon Travis is worth 13 bucks, maybe a few more. So there’s value here if he manages to stay healthy which he never has. Hydra doesn’t have a 2b to build around and maybe Travis is it. Travis is out for a significant amount of time, but Hydra has thrown their hat out of race for 2017.

The haul for Bailey is 2 veteran pitchers in Happ and Vargas. Vargas is obviously playing out of his mind now.  I assume nobody was giving a big haul for a 34 year old having a career season averaging 30 points per game.  JA Happ on the other hand was great last year and only recently picked things up with back to back 40+ point games. I think both are probably around top 75 pitchers (maybe better), which in this league is very relevant.  Bailey’s pitching core is greatly improved from 2 players who won’t effect his bottom line this year.

I get that Hydra wanted to trade two 34 year olds because they could possibly be exposed and have very little value by season’s end. I think chances are one of them will be a very good value to keep next year, but it is unclear which. Even if we can predict Jason Vargas for having a good 2018 season, he’s still in the twilight of his career and getting 2 young assets is perhaps more intriguing. If this was the best they could get in their eyes, then that’s the market.. it feels a tad light.

Ultimately the trade is fine for both teams. If I’m Hydra, I would have liked someone better than Corey Ray, but this is a totally a prospect personal preference criticism.

 

 

TRADE: Foundation | We Talk Fantasy Sports

WTFS receives a $6 Melky Cabrera

Foundation receives a $5 Didi Gregorious

This trade is as pretty close to even as you can get.  Both are solid regulars who you’d expect to average between 4.5 and 5.5 points per game.  The main difference here is one plays a much more scarce position. With Jordan losing Jean Segura to the DL, he is probably going to benefit more in this trade than Keith will, and that’s not to say Keith did anything bad here.

I think being able to cycle through the OFs Jordan has (Harper, Thames, Calhoun, Granderson, etc), it was more valuable for him to get to turn an expendable. Melky into a sure fire play every day SS for him. Hopefully Torres’ eventual call up doesn’t limit Didi’s playing time, but even if it does, it was a risk worth taking.

 

Keith has Hernan Perez and Elvis Andrus to man SS, so trading his depth there will allow him to fill holes in his outfield.  Plus, if Keith decides to keep Buxton again, he can keep a very cheap outfielder in Melky to partially make up for that mistake.

Breaking down the math

2018: $40 Buxton- Not ideal

2018: $48 Buxton and Melky- Less not ideal

 

 

 

 

TRADE: Foundation + Capital City Ironmen

 

 

Hustle’s Take

Oh look, the commissioners trade with each other again, and only a few days before the one year anniversary of the infamous James Shields trade. Truth be told, the trade is very similar in structure.  Two upgraded picks for a player. The picks are worse this time.

 

That being said I love this trade for Bailey.  He has a glut of 2b in Devon Travis (hey Dusty), Neil Walker (who Jordan traded to Bailey), Marwin Gonzeles, and  Chris Owings. Also, he has Ian Happ in his minors that he could call up at any moment. Basically, there’s no way he’s going to remotely miss Jed Lowrie.

Jed Lowrie is 33, playing in Oakland, very injury prone, and currently over performing. He’s over 6 points per game at the moment, which is very good for any player and even better for a 2b.  Generally I think Jed Lowrie is an underrated player in this format when healthy and has a clear role, but he’s nothing special. When you’re owning Darwin Barney, I think you probably need to make a move for some middle infield depth or be more aggressive on the wire.

That being said, I think two 2nd rounders is a pretty steep price for Lowrie.  Does Bailey actually say no to one 2nd rounder with that depth? Did he? I’d say it would be pretty irresponsible to say no to 1 for him unless he was confident he could milk 2 (which he did).

I get Jordan hating prospects and picks, but a 2nd rounder was selling for 5-7 bucks last year.  I can’t get behind selling 2 of them for Lowrie. As our minor league player pool shallows out with getting 5 spots a year, the upper round picks in theory should be worth more. I also think Jordan could have used the other 2nd rounder as a trade chip in a different more impactful deal down the line. Now we probably see Bailey use Jordan’s pick somehow.

I’d be pretty surprised if Lowrie moved the needle for Jordan this season, but if it does, it’s worth it.

Dynasty Grinders Class-A All-Star Bats

Using our scoring system, I pulled all Class-A hitters stats from MILB.com to find out who has been dominating the league.

Just 10 of the top 50 hitters there are owned, including three by Hydra – Yoan Moncada, Bobby Bradley and Jorge Mateo.

TBD was the only other owner with more than one – Eloy Jimenez and Josh Ockimey.

The Cleveland Indians feature seven players in the top 50:

  • Greg Allen
  • Tyler Krieger
  • Nathan Lukes
  • Bobby Bradley
  • Yu-Cheng Chang
  • Connor Marabell
  • Francisco Mejia

Add those prospects to Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier and a handful of pitching prospects and the Indians are setup for a very successful future.

This is the farm system of a team that just won 14 games in row and sits 6.5 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers, in first place of the American League Central division.

Thanks to 40 doubles, yes 40, Brian Mundell has 20 more total bases than Eloy Jimenez, who is 2nd.  That, plus just 48 strikeouts = future major league hitter.

He was drafted out of college in the 2015 draft and at 22 years old could speed through the Rockies farm system.  It is also very likely that an American League team would love to have him as a DH.

HLR’s Travis Demeritte has hit 20 home runs but also has 105 strikeouts.  He has already served an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance and the Rangers moved him to 2B with Adrian Beltre and Joey Gallo ahead of him.  But now with the rise of Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar back, it could be a while before Demeritte finds a spot with the Rangers.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see him dealt at the deadline or this offseason.

a1-20 a21-40 a41-50

On baseball’s proposed rule to raise the strike zone…

It seems to have went under the radar, but back in May, Major League Baseball took steps toward making changes to the strike zone. You can read about it here. The gist of it is pretty simple: the bottom of the strike zone would be raised, which should/could, in theory, cause a rise in walks and/or a spike in offense in general.

If you click that link, perhaps the same thing will jump out at you that jumped out at me. Check out this excerpt:

My interpretation of that point is that, because umpires are calling the strike zone incorrectly, MLB will make changes to the zone itself rather than address it with those responsible for calling balls and strikes. This is, to me at least, somewhat counter-intuitive. Or maybe they’ve already tried and failed to correct the problem with their umpires. Who knows?

It’s 2016. We have the technology to call balls and strikes digitally, but beyond that, we have the ability to measure the performance of the human beings calling them by eye. In theory, at least, MLB could reinforce the desired strike zone to all of its officials, then penalize those who do not adhere to the rules. If the umpires interpretation of the strike zone is the issue, then the problem lies with the umps, not the zone. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to fix the thing that isn’t broken so that the thing that is broken can better function.

The funny thing is, I like human umpires. I get frustrated from time to time with their performance, but I generally enjoy the three-way chess match that occurs between hitter, pitcher, and umpire. I like that a zone can grow as a game goes on because a pitcher has displayed pinpoint accuracy. I like the groan of a crowd on a borderline pitch. I know it’s sub-optimal and undercuts the competition to some degree, but as a spectator, it’s something I like.

Having said that, I also quite like pitching. I enjoy a 15-12 game from time to time too, but my preference would be a well-pitched, well-paced 3-1 game where pitchers are buckling hitters’ knees and throwing gas past their bats. If the change to the zone does in fact increase offense through a greater volume of walks and, perhaps, balls in play*, I imagine some of the work baseball has done to increase pace of play becomes compromised. More offense means longer games and it also means less good pitching performances to watch.

* The article linked above has some quotes that suggest balls in play won’t be heightened, but I think that’s posturing. If the bottom of the zone is further off the ground, I can’t envision how there wouldn’t be more balls in play. Pitchers would presumably be aiming higher, even if just by fractions of an inch, with their pitches. If they miss, they miss a little bit higher. That’s good for hitters.

As Cubs manager Joe Maddon eludes to in that article, it’s possible that all the change does is increase the number of pitches taken and walks, at which point all that’s really happening — for the spectator, at least — is less action at a slower pace. I’m not sure why anyone would want that. His underlying point, I think, is that we can theorize all we want about what the change will cause, but until we test it out in live situations — say, spring training — we’re not going to know for sure.

For me though, it just comes back to accountability of the umpires. Their job is not easy. It seems easy watching from our sofas, but it’s not. Still, MLB has the ability to identify which guys are doing a good job and which are not, which should be enough to implement change without tinkering with the rules.