A Small Rule Change

Spring training chugs along, and more Rainiers players made a mark in the Cactus League over the weekend.

Zach Shank had a couple of hits, including a game-winner, on Saturday. D.J. Peterson launched his first homer of the year, and so did new outfielder Kyle Waldrop. Boog Powell had a pair of hits yesterday, including a triple.

Look for more Tacoma players to get major league spring training action over the next two weeks, while many Mariners starters are shifting over to World Baseball Classic teams.

Meanwhile, MLB announced its official rule changes for 2017. Most involve a quicker instant replay system, which does not matter to us – we still don’t have instant replay in Triple-A.

But they did institute the no-pitch intentional walk, in which you just wave the batter to first base.

This will have no real effect on games anywhere, except to save the embarrassing once-a-decade wild pitch on an intentional ball.

Last season Rainiers pitchers issued nine intentional walks, and Rainiers batters were purposefully walked 14 times. So we would have saved about 23 minutes during a 144-game schedule. Not a big deal.

I guess I won’t be delivering the anticlimactic “and there’s the fourth wide one” anymore.

At least the fans can still boo when their guy gets waved to first base.

In case you are curious – I had a hunch, but looked it up to be sure – the Rainiers batter who was intentionally walked the most last season was Stefen Romero. Four times.



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