The New Walk Rule

10 questions about the Automatic Intentional Walk rule

Here is everything -- and I do mean EVERYTHING -- any sane person would want to know about the new intentional walk rule. OK, let's be honest, a sane person would not have more than two questions about it.

Brilliant readers never let you down. They ask two more questions -- and they are questions that I actually asked people in baseball. I just thought they were too boring and unimportant to answer. I should remember: Here at the blog NOTHING is too boring or unimportant.

Question 11 from brilliant reader samlub: Does the pitcher get credited for throwing the four pitches.

Answer: He does not. No pitches are recorded.

Question 12 from brilliant reader Brent: Does the intentionally walked batter count as a batter faced?

Answer: Yes he does. This actually could come into play -- a manager could conceivably want to delay the game to get someone warmed up. The manager could put in a spare pitcher (say tomorrow's starter), have him lob a few warm-up pitches and then have that pitcher on the mound when he calls for the intentional walk. This WOULD count as a faced batter, so the manager could then go back to the mound and bring in the now warmed-up reliever.

This seems like something Billy Martin or Earl Weaver would do. It's a legal play, at least for now. But I imagine that MLB would not look fondly on such a move, and if it was abused I suspect that the rule would change from "batter faced" to "pitch throw/out recorded."