How Will SF Giants Pitchers transition into the pitch clock era?

Codey Larsen
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants - Game One
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants - Game One / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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(This was inspired by an article I found on MASNSports discussing the Orioles’ pitchers)

(Unless otherwise noted, stats featured in this article are from https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/)

2023 will bring new rule changes yet again. The most scrutinized, the pitch clock, will make its debut, so how will the SF Giants beat the clock come opening day?

How Will SF Giants Pitchers transition into the pitch clock era?

As the clock bellows closer and closer to pitchers and catchers reporting, Major League Baseball will ring in the new year by implementing new rules for the 2023 season as passed in early September by the Joint Competition Committee. As a refresher, they are, in a vacuum: a pitch clock, limiting defensive shifts, and bigger bases. 

In between the Aaron Judge free agent pursuit and the Carlos Correa saga, the three new rules have been writer catnip for the majority of the offseason. Today, I take the bait and take a closer look at the new pitch clock rule, and how Giants pitchers fared in 2022. There are about nine footnotes for the new pitch clock rule, but the ones I will be focusing on today are these:

“Between pitches, there will be a 15-second timer with the bases empty and a 20-second timer with runners on base….pitchers who violate the timer are charged with an automatic ball. Batters who violate the timer are charged with an automatic strike,”

Using Baseball Savant’s pitch tempo stat, I organized how fast, or not-so-fast, Giants pitchers were delivering the ball in 2022. 

Sammy Long, for instance, had the second-fastest pitch tempo among qualified pitchers last season when the bases were empty, behind only Brent Suter of the Brewers. John Brebbia was the fifth-fastest, Logan Webb, ninth. 

On the other side of the coin, Camilo Doval and Taylor Rogers were the 30th and 31st slowest respectively in pitch tempo with nobody on base in 2022.

With runners on, Long and Jakob Junis were the top 10 fastest in pitch tempo, and no Giant was in the top 50 when it came to being the slowest. 

Here are the fastest and slowest Giants with both the bases empty, and with runners on.

BASES EMPTY

Fastest, league average 18.1 seconds:

1. Long 12.8

Sam Long
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

2. Brebbia 14.2

John Brebbia
San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

3. Webb 14.5

Logan Webb
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

4. Junis 14.6

Jakob Junis
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

5. Alex Wood 15.1

Alex Wood
Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Slowest with bases empty

Average time: 23.3 seconds

Doval

22.3

Taylor Rogers

22.3

Yunior Marte

19.1

Ross Stripling

17.1

Tyler Rogers

17.0

RUNNERS ON

Fastest with runners on

League average, 23.3 seconds

Long

19.1

Junis

19.2

Sean Manaea

20.1

Wood

21.2

Stripling

22.0

Sean Manaea
Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

Slowest with runners on

League average, 23.3 seconds

Taylor Rogers

26.1

Doval

25.5

Marte

25.2

Alex Cobb

22.6

Webb

22.5

Alex Cobb
Cincinnati Reds v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Baseball Savant states their timing is different than what MLB will define their timing as, so according to them, subtract six seconds off of the listed times and that will show roughly how they will fare in conjunction with how MLB will time them.

It appears, based on the data, it does not seem like many of the SF Giants will have too many issues adjusting to the new pitch clock.

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