San Diego Padres: Josh Hader talks MLB rule changes and their impact
By Kevin Henry
So what does Josh Hader think of the MLB pitch clock and how has it changed some of the ways that he has approached the game on the mound in 2023? The San Diego Padres closer dove into that and more in a recent episode of Audacy's Baseball Isn't Boring podcast.
San Diego Padres closer Josh Hader dishes on the MLB pitch clock, PitchCom, more
Hader shares some of his thoughts on the changes to MLB and how they're affecting him and other pitchers in this podcast, with his comments beginning around the 25:25 mark.
"Growing up playing baseball, we've always been taught and told to slow the game down and be able to really just stay in your moment and not let the game speed up on you," Hader said. "Obviously now with the pitch clock, you don't have that option to just slow the game down."
With the new timing rules in place, MLB pitchers are often trying to adjust the mechanics they have had for years to adapt to the new way of doing things on the mound. Hader said the adjustment has been "easy" thanks to the amount of time he had before the season began to hone his craft.
"It's just one of those things that you got to get your practice in and get those mental reps and get your internal clock readjusted," Hader said. "I don't think it really has made a big difference to whether you're going to execute a pitch or not. I don't think it changed that aspect of the game."
Even with the adjustments, Hader has performed well this season for the Padres, posting a 0.98 ERA/2.66 FIP/0.789 WHIP in 19.0 innings over 19 games. He has recorded 11 of San Diego's 13 saves on the season, one behind Camilo Doval's 12 saves for the San Francisco Giants, which leads the National League in that category.
Hader also praised the PitchCom system for helping improve communication and speed up the game.
"I have the opportunity to tell him (catcher) what I'm thinking in my head and vice versa," Hader said. "He can hit that to me right after that next pitch and I'm like, 'Okay, now I know what I'm going to do.' And if I don't like it, I have the opportunity to say that. I don't even have to shake and wait to put down the pitches."
After a day off on Monday, Hader and the Padres open a nine-game, three-city road trip in Washington against the Nationals on Tuesday night.