Daniel Shoptaw: The three-batter minimum hasn’t been as big as an issue as I expected. Perhaps it’s because Mike Shildt seems to love bringing in a pitcher to get the last out of an inning (thus negating it) and then letting that pitcher start the next inning. I still don’t think that strategy should be hampered by this and I’m not sure it has saved a ton of time, but it also has not been the worst thing in the world. I mean it’s 2020. Things that would have terrible last year, are nuisances at best this year.
Ron Nuttall: To tell you the truth, I don’t know if this has made a huge impact, maybe it made a difference in a game here and there. It was designed to quicken the pace of the game, but I don’t know if it has really done that. I thought this was kind of a silly change to begin with. It hasn’t added intrigue to the game, but it hasn’t taken anything away from the game either. Like the automatic walk, I don’t think these little tiny things to change the pace of play are really working.
Jason Hill: This rule has had much less impact on the Cardinals than I expected. Part of the reason is the pitching crisis have faced and compressed schedule. It’s not like Shildt has had much choice in the pitchers he has used and when he has used them. It’s been a “next man up” since game one. The rule also plays into the Cardinals’ strengths. The player development system is exceptional in developing starter-type arms that aren’t vulnerable to platoon splits.
Even with the six-man rotation, the club’s bullpen has included (at times) Kim, Reyes, Gomber, Ponce, Cabrera, Gant, and Helsley, all starter types who are more than capable against righties and lefties. The rule can stay!
Matt Benson: I feel aside from a minor coaching role of how best to apply this, I don’t think it made much of a difference. It isn’t too exciting, doesn’t affect games massively, and I’m fairly ambivalent about if this rule maintains.
Russ Robinson: This was another new rule coming into the season I didn’t think I would like. My original thought was it would take away some of the flexibility managers use in managing their bullpens. Maybe it would shorten the game, but I thought it could also lessen the game. However, I can’t tell if it really lessens the game at all.
I’ve actually enjoyed watching Shildt (and the managers his competes with) manage under this new rule. I really think Mike Shildt has adapted well to this and proven himself as a very capable in-game manager, especially with his pitching staff. I believe good managers can adjust to new challenges and Shildt has adjusted quite well (LaRussa would’ve too). Nevertheless, I would like to see this rule abandoned in 2021. Take the yoke off the managers and let them manage as they see fit.