Slow and slower: Pitch clocks would most affect Royals’ Duffy, Volquez
AVERAGE TIME BETWEEN PITCHES IN 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With concerns building that major league games last too long, a pitch clock will be used at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season. It’s a pilot program, if you will, to see what might help speed the game along.
Details have not been released, but it is believed the rules will be similar to what was used in the Arizona Fall League last fall. Pitchers there had 12 seconds to deliver a pitch with no runners on base, and 20 seconds when a base was occupied.
Implementing a pitch clock at the major league level isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. That change would have to be negotiated with the players union.
But if a pitch clock were to show up in the big leagues, which current Royals pitcher do you think would be most affected?
Among the starters, no Royal worked more slowly last season than Danny Duffy, who averaged 23.2 seconds between pitches. Of course, in Duffy’s case, his slow tempo is by design — he tries to be deliberate to keep his emotions in check.
Duffy, however, isn’t likely to be the slowest-working Royals starter this season. Newcomer Edinson Volquez took an average of 25.3 seconds between pitches with the Pirates last season. (That loud groan you just heard came from Royals broadcaster Denny Matthews.)
A look at 2014 Royals pitchers and their average time between pitches is in the table to the right.
Since we knew you were wondering, the fastest worker in baseball was, no surprise, Toronto’s Mark Buehrle, who averaged just 17.3 seconds between pitches last season.
And the slowest? Former Royal and current Dodgers reliever Joel Peralta, who checked in at 32.1 seconds between pitches.