Monday, December 19, 2016

Revisiting the neighbourhood play rule change

Back in March, Smasher talked about how the new sliding rule could be beneficial:
With the new rule in place, middle infielders like Tulo and Goins will have more time and space to turn the majestic DP's that we all know, love, and have become accustomed to. Happ, Dickey and Estrada were all among the top 77 pitchers in baseball in inducing ground-balls. Double plays aside, this bodes well when your team is one of the most talented defensively up the middle in all of baseball. Factor in the new dirt infield that will slow up ground balls that much more, thus increasing the range of Tulo/Goins and you can see why I am excited about the prospect of an improved team defense.
Who stands to benefit the most? Well arguably that would be your team Ace Marcus Stroman who pitched to a cool 4.17 Ground ball to Fly ball rate. Now obviously his 2015 is a small sample size but we can all agree that he's the best pitcher on the staff. So add in that he seems to be getting more ground ball outs, now has a slower dirt infield and the team has improved the defense of its middle infielders? It seems to bode well for the Blue Jays.
Well, it certainly wasn't at first. We were screwed a few times by it. But did we benefit as well? Discuss.