One of the best aspects of Spring Training is watching teammates face each other. The Braves have arguably the best all-around roster in baseball, so it’s always enjoyable to watch their All-Star pitchers face off against their All-Star bats. By now, you might have seen Ronald Acuña’s moonshot off of Max Fried. If you haven’t, here it is.
Braves fans should love the sight of that. Max Fried has been one of the hardest pitchers to homer off in the majors over the last three seasons. If Acuña can do that to him, it’s another sign that he’s much closer to his 2021 form, which would have won him the NL MVP if it weren’t for injury.
However, the home run isn’t the most interesting aspect of this play. Fried talked about the at-bat to the media following his outing, and he mentioned that he looked up at the pitch clock before the pitch and saw it was running down, which forced him to rush the offering.
Audio's not great, but you can hear at the end of the clip, Fried thought the pitch clock started early on this pitch and he felt rushed. Rick Kranitz agreed the clock was starting too quickly. It's new for everyone.
— Justin Felder (@Justin_FOX5) February 22, 2023
This is going to be a new aspect of the game that will surely have an impact. Not only will pitchers violate the rule, which will result in an automatic ball, but it could also result in something worse if they rush and make a mistake they can’t take back. Of all the rule changes, this is the one I’m least fond of, but pitchers have two choices — adapt or die.
Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire