Yankees’ Aaron Boone curious about ‘drastic’ MLB experiment
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DUNEDIN, Fla. — After Major League Baseball announced Wednesday it would experiment in the minor leagues with a mound a foot further away from the plate, Yankees manager Aaron Boone called it “drastic,” but was also curious to see how it played out.
The change, which will be implemented in the Atlantic League this season, will make the mound 61’6″ from the plate, with the idea being it will make pitches easier to read for hitters, allowing for more balls to be put in play.
“That seems pretty drastic,” Boone said before the Yankees faced the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. “But… sometimes the craziest of ideas end up having some traction.”
He was in favor of MLB looking for ways to improve the product on the field. This year, a new ball is being used as the league looks for more consistency.
Other experimental rule changes are being used in the minors, but none as fundamental to the game as mound distance. The league is confident it won’t impact pitchers or their health.
“My initial thought [is], ‘That’s pretty aggressive,’ ” Boone said. “It’s good Major League Baseball is trying a number of things out to see what it looks like and looking for ways to always improve and move our game forward.”
The ever-increasing strikeout rate has changed the way the game is played and resulted in less action.
“Hitting is so hard with the amount of nasty pitchers guys see on a nightly basis,” Boone said. “When I first heard of moving the rubber back, [I thought] ‘Does that throw off the best pitchers in the world?’ It’s like moving the free-throw line. It seemed a little odd to me. But it was explained to me and I’m at least curious to see [how it works].”
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