I think this is different from the shifts arguments. The analytics appear to support the idea that having pitchers go short stints, one or two times around the order limits offense. So, early adopters of that strategy will benefit. Eventually, though, everyone will do it, limiting the competitive advantage of the strategy (of course teams that execute better will still do better).artificial constraints like that lead to pinning the fielders into place before a pitch is thrown and limiting tosses to the bases. Such a slippery slope.
How about the opponents adapt to the moves like they have in the first 100+ years of baseball?
So, once we reach the new equilibrium where everyone is doing the same thing, do we have a better game or a worse game? I’d argue worse, both from an on field standpoint and a marketing standpoint. Do the on field first—more pitching changes, fewer runs=booorrrriiinnngggg. Off-field—turn another 20% of the baseball playing population into faceless interchangeable non entities who fans don’t care about and can’t be marketed.
It’s horrible for the game, even if the 2020 Red Sox might still be a little on the leading edge and maybe win a couple extra games. That will be fleeting. The contribution to further erosion of general interest in baseball will be permanent.