Blue Jays: Chris Bassitt speaks on MLB's new pitch clock rules

Feb 28, 2023; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Chris Bassitt (40) throws a
Feb 28, 2023; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Chris Bassitt (40) throws a / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays went all-in this offseason, acquiring their new left fielder, new setup man and shiny new No. 4 starter, Chris Bassitt. A pitching staff with someone of Bassitt's stature in the four slot is a damn good one.

A long time starter on the Oakland A's and member of the Mets last year, Bassitt has been referred to over the years as a "human rain delay" due to his obsession over picking the proper pitches on the mound.

The 34-year-old joined Rob Friedman, better known as "The Pitching Ninja" in a recent video to discuss his thoughts on the brand new pitch clock that Major League Baseball has put into affect for the 2023 season.

He says that in a typical game, he calls his own pitch 99 out of 100 times, crediting Danny Jansen on how well he's taken to that tactic. Jansen has been the primary catcher of Bassitt's in the early goings of Spring Training since Alejandro Kirk had been out of camp because him and his partner were welcoming a baby girl into the world.

Bassitt has been known over the years as a frustrating opponent on the mound. "Hitters didn't like how often I'd shake pitches off. I started to just do it to throw them off their rhythm. It was more so to break up the batters' routine. If I shook two or three times, the hitter would start to self-doubt themselves."

Hilariously, he says that the Philadelphia Phillies, one of the Mets' biggest rivals, especially disliked his tactics on the mound. "Knowing they didn't like it so much just made me do it to them even more", he says. Kyle Schwarber in particular had an issue with it, which just made Bassitt do it more frequently.

Friedman mentions Max Scherzer as a pitcher who has already been noticeably taking advantage of the pitch clock system. He has played the game perfectly in attempts to throw batters off and shake them up mentally.

"Being around Max for a year and us knowing this was all coming, we had a lot of talks over how we'd use this. He's pushing the envelope early while. All pitchers who call their own games are constantly thinking about ways we can weaponize this."

Friedman says that players like Scherzer and Bassitt are paid to be competitors. Pushing the boundaries when given new rules is necessary, and he's exactly right. If a pitcher waits until there's one or two seconds left on the pitch clock before throwing one pitch and then throws another one immediately after the batter is set, the ballgame becomes more of a mind game than anything.

Regarding all of the new non-pitch clock rules put into place by MLB, Bassitt says he'd give them all a B-plus. "The only one I do have an issue with, is the pitch clock", he says. "Maybe it's just me, but I always think 'how can this go wrong?' rather than thinking of the positives. One thing I've considered is the weather. It's great in Florida, but come April and you're in freezing cold Detroit, I can't feel the ball in my hand. I need to have time to grab the rosin bag in situations like this."

He goes on to say that he hopes the league utilizes common sense when it comes to weather and the pitch clock, saying that he hopes the umpires can reset it when it's truly necessary for pitchers.

Again, an excellent point. Friedman echoes this, saying that you never want a batter to hit with a bat he can't hold or a pitcher to throw a ball he can't feel in his hand or feel comfortable throwing.

Over the years, Bassitt has never hidden how he felt about things happening around him in the game. It will be interesting to see how the league continues to adapt to pitchers like him or Scherzer on the mound, who will happily take advantage of the pitch clock whenever they are able.

Next. Brandon Barriera officially assigned to Florida Complex League. dark