Stark: Managers plan for the new three-batter rule

From SABR member Jayson Stark at The Athletic on March 6, 2020:

He is still a week away from dealing with a rule that is guaranteed to have him reaching for his Advil stash. But Terry Francona is already losing sleep over an imaginary game he has managed only in his mind.

In the dream, it is June in San Diego. Francona’s Indians are playing the Padres. And the new three-batter rule is hanging over the manager’s head as he frets about how he would handle a pitcher who doesn’t even pitch for him anymore.

“What if (Corey) Kluber goes 7 1/3?” Terry Francona muses. “And we’re playing San Diego, and they’ve got (Eric) Hosmer and (Manny) Machado (coming up)?”

In another year, in a previous life, not a problem. His team employs a lethal situational left-hander (Oliver Pérez) and a sidewheeling situational right-hander (Adam Cimber). So….

“So we’ve got an answer,” Francona is saying, the managerial wheels churning over this still-fictional dilemma. “But right now we don’t.”

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Originally published: March 6, 2020. Last Updated: March 6, 2020.