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Strider: Reduced pitch clock puts pitchers at more risk

Todd Kirkland / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Atlanta Braves ace Spencer Strider isn't a fan of Major League Baseball's decision to shave two seconds off the pitch clock this season.

"With injury rates where they are, I don't know how we can blindly decrease the clock after the worst injury season in baseball, arguably, without having a conversation about injuries," Strider told USA Today's Gabe Lacques.

Pitchers will have 18 seconds between pitches with runners on base, down from 20 last season. They'll still have 15 seconds to deliver a pitch when the bases are empty.

Strider led the league with 281 strikeouts in 2023 and averaged 97.3 mph on his fastball.

"There's an injury epidemic in the game regardless of velocity," Strider said. "If anything, the league is making rule changes despite an injury epidemic that could very well be encouraging injuries, such as the pitch clock, limiting the number of pitchers on (the) roster, how many pitching changes you can make, how many mound visits you can have – all those things are making pitching harder and, potentially ... making health more difficult to manage."

Strider believes the increased injury risk to star pitchers will only serve to hurt interest in the game.

"The league talks about creating more action on the field," Strider added. "Well, when the best players in the league are hurt, how much interest is there in the game?"

A number of star pitchers, including Jacob deGrom and Shohei Ohtani, have undergone elbow surgery within the past year.

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