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Royals 2B Nate Eaton (sure, 2B) threw absolute gasoline on the mound

A bevy of new rules came to major league baseball this offseason that have generated a lot of interest. Between the bigger bases, the restrictions on defensive shifts, and the pitch timer, MLB games look a lot different this season. Some would argue the new rules saved the game. One rule change that has not

Royals 2B Nate Eaton (sure, 2B) threw absolute gasoline on the mound

A bevy of new rules got here to main league baseball this offseason which have generated lots of curiosity. Between the larger bases, the restrictions on defensive shifts, and the pitch timer, MLB games look rather a lot different this season.

Some would argue the brand new guidelines saved the game.

One rule change that has not obtained the identical consideration is the limitation on place gamers taking to the mound. Final season noticed 132 appearances from place gamers on the bump, not together with Shohei Ohtani. Underneath final season’s guidelines, place gamers may solely pitch when the groups have been separated by six runs.

The Competitors Committee unanimously approved changes to that rule for the 2023 MLB season. This yr, a place participant can pitch for the main group solely when they’re main by ten runs or extra within the ninth inning. Shedding groups can flip to a place participant anytime, supplied they’re down by eight runs or extra.

This transformation ought to reduce down on the variety of instances we see a place participant on the bump, which was a enjoyable novelty however the pleasure has worn off these moments the previous few seasons.

Nonetheless, Monday evening restored a little bit of that novelty.

Down in Arlington, the Texas Rangers have been internet hosting the Kansas City Royals. Due to a seven-run sixth inning, the Rangers took an 11-2 lead into the underside of the eighth inning. That’s when Royals supervisor Matt Quatraro turned to second baseman Nate Eaton to pitch within the eighth.

How did Eaton fare?

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Eaton pitched a scoreless eighth inning, regardless of permitting a pair of singles. He bought outfielder Travis Jankowski to floor out to start out the inning, and after singles from Ezequiel Duran and Corey Seager put runners on first and second, Eaton bought the second out of the inning when Brad Miller lined out to left.

That’s when outfielder Adolis Garcia got here to the plate, and Eaton began to deliver the warmth. The infielder managed to strike Garcia out after falling right into a 3-1 gap within the rely, and he bought the strikeout by pushing into the 90s together with his fastball:

Maybe this reduction stint mustn’t have been a shock. The Royals drafted Eaton within the twenty first spherical of the 2018 MLB draft, and on the time of the choose, they viewed him as maybe a catcher, a place he didn’t play in school at VMI however did play in highschool.

As Eaton labored his approach by low Class A, he noticed time within the outfield in addition to the infield.

However whereas he by no means labored behind the plate in school, he did pitch during his time at VMI. Throughout 2017 in the summertime school Coastal Plain League, he recorded 4 saves with a 1.26 ERA, whereas putting out 16 and permitting simply six hits in 14.1 innings. Throughout the 2017 season for VMI he made 17 pitching appearances, posting a 4.44 ERA and holding batters to a batting common of simply .212. Some groups have been even scouting him as a possible pitching prospect throughout the 2018 MLB draft.

With this sort of debut on the bump, we shouldn’t be stunned to see him again on the mound sooner somewhat than later.

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