Lace Major League Baseball wants more offense and their new experiment will be to move the mound away from the pitcher.
The test will consist of establishing a distance of 12 inches between the mound and the plate during a stretch of the season of the Atlantic League, an independent circuit of the minor leagues. The end? Try to cut down on strikeouts and generate more offense.
The distance between the mound and home plate will be 61 feet 6 inches. during the experiment.
“It’s a direct response to increased strikeouts, giving the batter about an additional hundredth of a second of time to decide. if he swings at a pitch, which would have an effect only in terms of reaction time, slowing the pitch by almost 1.5 mph, “said Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations.” The end of the game. I experiment and the hope is that that tiny amount of time will allow batters to have more contact and reduce the strikeout rate. “
In 2019, the last full season, strikeouts set a record for the 12th straight year, accumulating 42,823, up 33% from 32,189 in 2007. Strikeouts exceeded hits the past three seasons, unheard of in major league history.
MLB calculated that the average speed of a fastball last year was 93.3 mph, and he estimated that increasing the distance to the plate will reduce it to 91.6 mph.
The mound has maintained its current distance since 1893, when the National League decided to move it 5 feet away. Strikeouts declined from 8.5% in 1892 to 5.2% in 1893 and the batting average rose from .245 in 1892 to .280.
Jed Hoyer, the Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations, compared the changes reduction in mound height from 15 to 10 feet prior to the 1969 season.