Come 2019, Major League Baseball’s going to look even weirder.
The game’s drift toward analytics has turned into a tidal wave – and whether you find the outcome aesthetically pleasing likely depends on if you feel the current product represents progression, regression or a cyclical turn that will correct itself.
Either way, the facets that make the game harder for purists to recognize – be it progressive pitching use, platooning and roster maximization and the ever-vexing infield shift – will only be writ larger when a new season dawns March 28.
While most clubs are still plotting off-season maneuvers, enough have signaled their intentions to draw some basic conclusions.
So by next spring, get ready for:
The Tampa Bay Rays’ use of “the opener” – or, a reliever starting a game and throwing an inning or just a bit more – laid waste to baseball orthodoxy.