Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
With the 2020 Major League Baseball season being shortened to 60 games due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the league was forced to make a number of other changes to ensure the safety of players and everyone else involved.
Among those is that the video replay room will not be utilized during games, which of course eliminates the opportunity for hitters to go and review their at-bats between innings. That is going to be a big change for some position players on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I crush video. I try to break down pitchers, bullpens, what they’re doing, what their pitches look like,” Gavin Lux said. “During games I would go in there and watch the previous at-bats, seeing where the catcher was set up and stuff like that. It’s a tool that I definitely try to utilize and I know a lot of guys do, so it will be a little bit of an adjustment.
“I think I’ll be all right. I always kind of go for feel over what’s actually happening anyways, but it is always nice to see what the pitcher is doing. I think it will affect me obviously, but got to find a way around it.”
Not everyone relies on the use of video to help them in the middle of games, although Corey Seager is another player that does. “Honestly, I’m trying to get used to it,” he said.
“Trying to just get through the game and rely on what I’m feeling and not so much going back and looking at film. It’s been interesting so far. It’s not necessarily great. You wish you could have that back, but it’s what we’ve got to do.
“It’s definitely one of those things you’d like to have and be able to use.”
The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox were both recently penalized for cheating with the use of the replay room being involved, so at the very least, that will not be part of the game in 2020.
Hernandez more open to not using video
While Lux and Seager are two Dodgers players who will need to make adjustments this season without video, Kiké Hernandez is on the opposite end of the spectrum. “I see it as going back to the basics,” Hernandez said.
“Even though I haven’t been in the big leagues forever, I also was playing in the Minor Leagues when the video era wasn’t that hot yet, and I don’t think I even got to watch video in Triple-A. So the video room was introduced to me when I got to the big leagues, and I’ve played plenty of baseball without looking at my swing in slow-mo in between every inning.
“So I just think it’s going to be a little more like Spring Training in terms of you’re not going to have video available. It’s going to go back to having that feel and going back to playing old school baseball in terms of adjustments. You’ve just got to know, you’ve got to be aware of what adjustments you need to make from at-bat to at-bat without watching video, and I think that’s going to help a lot of guys.”
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