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Will New Collision Rule Mean More TOOTBLANs?

MLB announced a rule change today that could have an impact on everybody’s favorite stat (that’s the TOOTBLAN, by the way).

Major League Baseball and its players have banned most home plate collisions but left open an exception if the catcher has the ball and is blocking the runner’s direct path to home plate. …

A runner who violates the rule will be declared out even if the catcher drops the ball. If a catcher blocks home plate without possession of the ball, the runner will be safe. However, a catcher may block the plate to field a throw if the umpire determines the catcher could not have otherwise fielded the ball and that contact with the runner could not have been avoided.

Practically, how many plays are we talking here?

While we don’t know how many plays at the plate resulted in runs, we do know how many plays at the plate resulted in outs in 2013.

There were 262 runners thrown out at the plate last year, either via sacrifice fly or the runner attempting to take an extra base, according to the TOOTBLAN Database. Another 180 baserunners were thrown out at home attempting to score on a fielder’s choice with an open base.

Given the new rule, we may see a slight uptick in TOOTBLAN in 2014.

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