MESA, Ariz. – Getting things moving has been a goal of Major League Baseball for the past few years, as evidence by a few pace of play changes to the game.
Even more were added this week by the league, but Willson Contreras wants nothing to do with one of them.
That’s the one that states that a team will be limited to just six manager or player visits to the mound per game. It’s the one change made in 2018 that’s got most of the players talking, including the Cubs’ catcher at Sloan Park on Tuesday.
“They you’re going to have six mound visits, but what if you have a tight game or an extra inning game? You have to go out there,” said Contreras. “They cannot say anything about that, it’s my team. We just care about wins.”
So what would he do if he had to visit the mound for a seventh, eighth, or ninth time?
“If you’re going to fine me about the number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price,” said Contreras.
It could be a bit of a hefty one in terms of game strategy. Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a news conference in Glendale that after the sixth visit, a team would be required to change pitchers after each one.
We’ll have to see if that’s the price Contreras would be willing to pay as the debate on this new rule will continue for a while.