Hairston Jr.: A Pitch Clock Could Actually Help Pitchers

As Mark Buehrle showed throughout his career, working fast can be effective

Reiter Than You
February 27, 2019 - 8:22 am
Mark Buehrle throws a pitch

USA Today Images

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Many Major League pitchers have scoffed at the idea of a pitch clock, while others aren’t sure how they feel about it.

Well, Jerry Hairston Jr. thinks a pitch clock might actually be good for pitchers.

“It might help the pitcher,” Hairston said on Reiter Than You. “I remember playing against Mark Buehrle. He had great stuff, but I think what helped him even more was he understood, ‘If I get it and throw it, I put the hitters on their heels and I’ll have more success.’ It worked for him, and it might work for other pitchers.”

Hairston, 42, played in the majors from 1998 to 2013. He understands why baseball wants to experiment with a pitch clock and try something different.
 
“I don’t mind it, especially with the strikeouts up,” he said. “If you had told me 15 years ago there would be more strikeouts than base hits in a season, I would have said, ‘You’re nuts. It’ll never happen. These are big league hitters, and big league hitters make adjustments.’”

Well, last year they didn’t. in 2018, there were more strikeouts than hits for the first time in Major League history.

“Which is shocking to me,” Hairston said. “I can’t believe that. So, you want more pace of play, you want more action – I understand what Major League Baseball is doing. You never know. It could be a great thing. Quarterbacks are on the clock, you have offenses in the NBA, they’re on the clock – that makes the pace of play kind of move quickly.”

Click below to listen to Hairston’s interview in its entirety.