MLB Writer: Kris Bryant Is NL MVP Frontrunner

The time – no pun intended – is almost upon us. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wants baseball to implement a pitch clock in the majors, just as it implemented a pitch clock in the minors in 2015.

This would be a great thing for the game, right?

“Absolutely,” CBSSports.com MLB writer Matt Snyder said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I know there are a lot of purists who go crazy about the one thing about baseball that’s great is there’s no clock. Bu they implemented a clock last year. The two-minutes-in-between-innings clock, there’s pitching-change clocks – you don’t even notice it. I think it’s one of those things that in the first week of the season, maybe you’ll pay attention to it a lot. Maybe the first month. But after awhile you won’t even notice it anymore. It’ll be kind of hidden somewhere. The pitchers will go about their business and it’ll just become kind of a part of the game. I’m just sad they didn’t do this when Josh Beckett was still pitching – because it was brutal watching him take 30 seconds between every pitch.”

Baseball implemented a pitch clock in the Arizona Fall League and shaved anywhere from six to 16 minutes off of games.

“I know that when they first did it in Arizona Fall League, it was pretty seamless,” Snyder said. “But the thing about that is most guys in the minors don’t take that long. They don’t start becoming a human rain delay until they get in the bigs and they think they’re a big deal. Then they start overthinking everything and analyzing everything in their head. But I know when they started in the Arizona Fall League, pretty much all the returns were positive. It didn’t really affect the pitchers much, it made things go a lot faster, and it was more fun for the fans in between pitches because there wasn’t that much time. I think that eventually it’s going to be great.”

In other MLB news, Kris Bryant went 5-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs in a 9-6 win over the Brewers on Thursday. Bryant is now hitting .296 with 30 homers, 78 RBIs and a .392 OBP, and the Cubs (77-43) have the best record in baseball.

Is Bryant, 24, the best player in the game?

“I still think it’s Mike Trout, but he kind of gets buried there because the rest of his team is just awful,” Snyder said. “But Bryant, it’s unbelievable how valuable he is. He’s a third baseman, but they play him in left, they play him in right, he even got an inning in center-field this year, Joe Maddon insists he could play him at shortstop if he wanted to, he’s gotten time at first base – his value especially increased after Kyle Schwarber got hurt. It’s easy to forget that because it happened in the third game of the season, but one of the things that Maddon started doing after that was moving Bryant all over the field and utilizing some of his backup infielders. So I think that just adds to the value Bryant brings to the team. I said earlier in the week that the MVP right now is between Bryant and his teammate, Anthony Rizzo. I think today created a little bit of separation. You have to say Bryant is the NL frontrunner for MVP right now.”

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