This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Okay, I guess it hasn't been THAT long, but I think everyone will agree, it has certainly been strange. We are well into September, and at least in my mind, I have to remind myself this isn't mid-May. Injuries, probably because of a combination of factors including a compressed schedule and a lack of normal preparation time before the season began, have been far more prominent than in any season I can remember. That has proven to be perhaps the biggest challenge to fantasy owners. And, beyond the actual injuries, the impact on game preparedness among reportedly healthy pitchers has been very difficult to predict. Obviously, even though MLB is certainly to be commended on very effectively controlling COVID-19, there have been a handful of outbreaks that have magnified the problems related to preparation and scheduling. But, that's just the tip of the 2020 iceberg. What changes can we expect to see in future seasons?
Seven-inning doubleheaders, universal designated hitters and accelerated extra innings: So many things have changed as a result of this crazy season. It will be interesting to see how many of the changes will stick around for future "normal" seasons. Of course that assumes there will be a normal season in 2021 and beyond.
I haven't had a problem with seven-inning doubleheader games. From a strictly pitching-focused perspective, the shorter games will often make it unnecessary to use fringy relief pitchers who probably shouldn't be pitching at the major league level anyway. Your starter goes five