Baseball Opener: What is it and Why Do Teams Use it?

Baseball Opener

In baseball, it is now a tradition to start a bullpen game with a starting pitcher. Before 2020 there was no such tradition as starting the game with an opener however, it’s now a necessary step. An opener is a relief pitcher who pitches in one or a maximum of two innings of the game.

Baseball Opener: Started by the Tampa Bay Rays

It all started in 2017 when Tampa Bay Rays started to keep a baseball opener in the first innings of the game. The cause behind this strategy was to get past the best hitters of opponent teams. This strategy was not appreciated at first but when other teams began to see the results, they also started to practice it.

What is the Point of a Baseball Opener?

In baseball, many teams used to start the game with any pitcher. On average they would perform badly at the start of the game and the best pitchers of the team couldn’t do anything. So what is the point of a baseball opener? They tend to minimize chances of losing a game. Another reason why a baseball opener is important is that the opponent team uses their best hitters at the start of the game.

You might like to check out: What is Pinch Hitter in Baseball?

New York Yankees Using Opener

In 2019 New York Yankees began using an opener for their fifteen games. It turned out to be so well for them that Chad Green their starting pitcher not only played well but he also made it to the second innings in a few games. After seeing these kind of performances other teams got impressed and now it is a tradition in most MLB teams.

More Teams Will Adopt this Strategy in 2020

More Teams Will Adopt this Strategy in 2020

When teams in MLB saw a performance of the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees opener it seems that they will also use a traditional opener in their regular season.  More teams will adopt this strategy in 2020 like Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, and a few more.

Here’s an interesting read: What is a Palmball Pitch?

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the Rays still use an Opener?

Tampa Bay Rays initiated the use of openers. They have used openers in various games however, now the use of this strategy is relatively lesser than in 2019.

What is the difference between a starting Pitcher and a relief Pitcher?

The key difference between a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher is that a starting pitcher only has to perform at the start of a particular game. He gets to have many days before the game. However, a relief pitcher is expected to do more in the game. He doesn’t get time before games.

What is a Home Opener?

When games happen at home field, an opening is held as home opener. Just like in other seasons, Opening Day is held before starting any sport.

The Bottom Line on Baseball Opener

In conclusion, baseball Opener is a strategy used by many baseball teams. It was initiated in 2018. After seeing the benefits of this particular strategy many teams have started to use starting pitchers as a tradition in regular games. Teams have now come to know that an opener increases the chances of a team to win.

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