If you’d like a peek into the future of catching once the electronic strike zone is implemented, just consider how quickly second base has changed since the rules against aggressive slides was adopted in 2016.
Back then, one skill separated good second basemen from the bad ones — the ability to take a throw with a runner bearing down, quickly transferring the ball from glove to hand and then firing an accurate throw to first to perhaps complete a double play. When fielders moved from other positions to second base, this was what almost all of them found to be the greatest challenge — learning how to do this adeptly.
But because of what is known as the Chase Utley rule, there is little value attached to this practiced flurry of hands and feet, because the middle infielders almost never get dumped anymore.
Increasingly, teams treat second base much the way they do first base — as a spot to mine offensive potential through matchups. In yesterday’s series piece, it was mentioned that the Dodgers deployed 10 different players at first. The volume was almost as high for L.A. at second: Enrique Hernandez, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor were among the eight second basemen…