Happy Tuesday, Athletics Nation!
How far apart are the bases on a baseball field? 90 feet, right? Equal spacing between all bases makes it a consistent challenge to make your way around each side of the diamond.
Except that spacing for bases hasn’t been the correct 90 feet in MLB for over a century. For nearly as long as baseball has been baseball the infield has been disproportioned. Writing yesterday for The Athletic, Jayson Stark outlined how second base has been misaligned since the 1880s, and will be adjusted this season in the minor leagues, with the change coming to MLB in the future as well.
As further described in Defector by Barry Petchesky, the change in base-paths actually happened from an adjustment to first and third. The distances between bases that formed the infield diamond originally were measured from the centre of each base, this led to an issue as the corner bases were then both half in foul territory. If a batted ball landed on a either base it would be a judgement call from the umpire as to whether the ball was a fair hit or a foul ball. To resolve this issue, first and third were moved to be completely within fair territory. Eventually home plate was also moved in so it no longer covered any foul ground. But second base, which didn’t ever have the same foul territory issue never needed to be adjusted.
Starting this year across all levels of Minor League Baseball, second base will be moved in to match the rest of the infield. This is one of many changes that are being piloted in the minors before potentially being implemented into the majors. This won’t be a fundamental shift in the way the game is played, but there should be a slight offensive boost in the aggregate.
The change in position works out to make second base just over a foot closer to first and third, something that ever so slightly helps a runner sliding in to steal a base or leg out a double. It’s also that much further for an outfielder to throw the ball back in to as a target. Catchers also get a slight boost, as they’ll be that much closer to their target when throwing a runner out. Again, don’t expect a foot of base movement to cause a monumental shift in baseball, but do keep an eye out in the latter half of the year to see how it affects the minors.
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- Kawahara: A’s Brent Honeywell Jr. shut down indefinitely with elbow issue ($)
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MLB News & Interest
- Stark: Minor League Baseball moving second base during the 2022 season: Sources
- Stark: Why baseball is moving second base and what this experiment could mean for the game ($)
- Petchesky: Wait, Second Base Has Been WHERE This Whole Time?
- Schwartz: Rachel Balkovec is making change
- Szymborski: 2022 Positional Power Rankings: Catcher
- Clemens: A Minor CBA Change Could Create Contract Wrinkles
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- Petriello: The 8 tiers of contenders for 2022
- Rosenthal: Why I like the Angels to make the postseason this year — sort of ($)
- Collazo, Badley: Baseball America’s Top 2023 MLB Draft Prospects ($)
- McDonald: Diamondbacks to extend Ketel Marte
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
Brent Honeywell Jr. won’t be making the start of the season
Brent Honeywell shut down indefinitely due to an elbow issue. Tough news. He was finally feeling healthy and in line for a rotation spot with the A’s. Adam Oller and Paul Blackburn are others in the mix for rotation.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 28, 2022
More on Honeywell, who has has a number of arm surgeries in the last five years including a Tommy John
Brent Honeywell Jr. had an MRI/CT scan on his elbow that showed an olecranon stress reaction (bone in back of elbow), A's trainer Nick Paparesta said. Honeywell will be shut down from throwing indefinitely, Paparesta said.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 28, 2022
With Honeywell down, at least we may have another arm back soon
James Kaprielian (shoulder AC joint irritation) threw a bullpen session Saturday and responded well. He is scheduled for another bullpen session Tuesday.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 28, 2022
Lowrie’s contract details
Jed Lowrie, A’s— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 28, 2022
Signing Bonus - $150,000
$700,000 - 2022
Plus: $100,000 for 60 day on active Major League roster.
Plus: $150,000 if traded (one time)
A college player with professional focus
Can we talk about the perseverance needed to just keep doing the interview? pic.twitter.com/plcvFnpGWz— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) March 29, 2022