Rosenthal proposal: make relievers face more than one batter per appearance


UPDATE: I was remiss in not noting that this was not, actually, Rosenthal’s idea. He notes that Theo Epstein proposed it first. But hey, history remembers the popularizers more than the innovators!

While we’re talking innovation this morning, let us look at Ken Rosenthal’s latest idea:

Here’s an idea that could both increase offense and improve the pace: Require relievers to face more than one batter per appearance. Make it at least two, or even better three.

Rosenthal sketches it out, and argues that it would cut down on game times, given that pitching changes are a big driver in that department. And that reliever specialization is a big factor in decreased offense. Lefty specialists, 100 m.p.h-throwing shutdown men, etc.

He’s right, I think. I’d have to think about how this would affect roster construction and stuff before I make my mind up about it, but it’s a reasonable idea on its face.

What say you?