The MLB owners have approved a rule that would allow team interpreters to visit the mound along with the team’s pitching coach or manager. This is a great move for all parties and will definitely make things easier for all pitchers who are not familiar with the coach’s native tongue. Yu Darvish is just one of many foreign pitchers who will benefit from what may seem like a minor change.
Pitching in the MLB isn’t a walk in the park, but pitching out of a jam in a big league game is a challenge for even the league’s best. After the game many pitchers who pitched out of a tricky situation attribute their success to the pitching coach coming out and simplifying the ordeal. Nothing is simplifying about a Manager who speaks a completely different language comes to the mound–I would argue it is even more stressful for the pitcher who doesn’t speak the language. This move will improve the production for all of those who need the added guidance.
Now, there is a potential issue with just how bad the rule eventually be abused. For instance, what if pitchers who do speak the language would benefit as well from an added presence on the mound during the visit? In a league that is always looking for an advantage don’t be surprised if this problem does arise. Nonetheless, the notion still has to be passed by the Players Union in order for it to become mandated league wide in 2013.
At the end of the day this move will attract more overseas pitchers and makes the transition smoother.