Borrowed from our friends over at The Yankees Analysts
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Although MLB felt the need to push through the extra Wild Card into the postseason quickly, they didn't feel like pushing through expanded replay as fast. Expanded replay will not be implemented for the 2012 MLB season.
Apparently umpires wanted something in return to agreeing to implement more replay this season, which would include fair/fouls calls, trapped balls, and fan interference. But the umpires' union couldn't come to an agreement on what that would be, if anything, with the players' union.
I'm not as cynical as some fans, who are lashing out at the umpires for caring more about their wallets than the integrity of the game, but I do think this sucks. Replay is a great tool for an umpire to make the correct call(s). But, as a fellow baseball umpire, I'm concerned with replay taking over the game. I don't believe a robot could ever do the job as well as a human, and expanding replay too far could make umpires worse due to laziness since "the robots will correct me if I'm wrong".
Face it, there are some calls and decisions that take a human brain. For example, how could a robot determine whether or not a pitcher has an illegal substance under the brim of his hat?
And what if a coach has a question on the rules' interpretation? Is he supposed to type the question to the robot behind home plate?
I understand fans just wanting calls to be right. But that starts with putting the best umpires on the field, instead of those with the most seniority or the ones that are great politicians (I can tell you from personal experience that playing the political game with the guys running the officiating associations can be the difference between working a lot of games, or watching a lot of games). What some fans don't seem to understand though is that umpires get 99% of the calls correct. Some of which are amazing, like bang-bang plays at 1B, or bang-bang tag plays when stealing a base. But people harp on that 1%, and claim that that 1% ruins the game. Sorry, but I call "bullsh*t" on that.
I'm not the prospect guy around here. In fact, we go outside of TGP in order to post information on them. But I would like to point out something that I've noticed this spring...
DJ Mitchell finished 14th in our Top 20 Prospect list (behind Banuelos, Betances, Campos, Warren, and Phelps), he finished 16th in River Ave Blue's Top Prospect list (behind Banuelos, Betances, Campos, Warren, Phelps, and Marshall), and DJ was 16th according to Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus (behind Banuelos, Betances, Campos, Marshall, and Warren). But so far this spring it's Mitchell that's the one impressing me the most.
I know, Spring Training stats don't mean a whole heck of a lot. But it's hard not to be impressed by his 7 innings this spring, in which he's given up a batting average against of .130 and WHIP of .71. What's stood out to me the most is that he's using a cutter, to go along with three other pitches (fastball, changeup, and curveball).
In 161.1 innings last season Mitchell had an ERA of 3.18 and WHIP of 1.351. His 6.2 K/9 is not going to blow people away, and neither will his BB/9 of 3.5, but there's a chance that DJ Mitchell is in the Yankee rotation to start 2013, instead of some other names that have been discussed well before him.