Matt Strahm loves the game of baseball but there are some changes being made that he’s worried about.
The southpaw has largely been a reliever in his career but he’s made his first two starts since 2021 for the Phillies this season. He’s noticed a few things that could be trending in the wrong direction, namely the new pitch clock.
Strahm joined WEEI’s Rob Bradford on the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” to talk about a variety of topics, including how the pitch clock makes it feel like they’re playing basketball and an injury concern due to a lack of recovery time.
“As far as the shift and the bases, I’m all for it. I love action in baseball. Baseball is a beautiful game where it starts and stops with the pitcher,” Strahm said (16:42 in player above). “The clock, again, it’s here to stay and it is what it is, I’ll adapt to it, but as a fan of baseball I don’t like it.
“Even as a player it feels like we’re playing more so basketball than baseball. It’s constant up and down. You see these outfielders when they’re going to have to lead off an inning, it’s a straight sprint in from left or right field for them to get to the on-deck circle and most of them aren’t even getting a practice swing before they have to get in the box.”
Strahm isn’t a fan of the word “can’t” and will do whatever it takes to help his team win. However, there is a serious concern about the clock impacting players’ ability to recover between pitches.
“The thing with the clock that worries me the most is injuries for players. This is a max-effort sport. That’s what it’s turned into and when you’re doing max-effort stuff your recovery time is important and we got a clock on it so I’m kind of worried for July and August to see if the injuries pile up on pitchers with this clock,” he said. “Again, it is what it is and we’ll make do with it but for a baseball fan, at least, in my opinion, it’s not the right way to go about it.”
It’s a good point by Strahm. When working out it’s usually recommended to take a rest between sets to let your muscles relax and recover. With the clock, pitchers only have seconds to get the ball back, focus on the next pitch, and execute in a high-leverage situation.
Many have speculated that there may be tweaks coming to the clock – even adding five or 10 seconds could reduce injury risk – but that remains to be seen. For now, this is definitely something to keep an eye on.