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Trash Pandas talks adjustments after Major League Baseball implements bigger bases this season

MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – This season, Major League Baseball has increased the size of first, second and third bases from 15 to 18 inches across the minor league levels. This seems like a minor change, which many fans and even some players might not notice at first.

“We had to adapt to something new almost every week in the minor leagues. I feel like it’s just who can adapt best and fastest at this point,” Trash Pandas pitcher Coleman Crow said.

“I noticed the first day we came here to practice that they were slightly bigger but honestly over the year I’ve completely forgotten about that. It makes it easier if you hit a single on the field to access the bag,” added Trash Pandas outfielder Bryce Teodosio.

“It’s a different process when you start running the bases even though all these angles are different, it’s just ingrained in you, you know how to turn and hit the right corner of the base and those are adjustments to learn. When they first adapt to it, it feels like they’re playing a whole different game,” said Trash Pandas outfielder Preston Palmeiro.

“The margins were so tight. the game is so efficient at this level and only gets more efficient the higher you go, so any small change will pay big dividends,” added Trash Pandas manager Andy Schatzley.

Although it was implemented to make the game safer, it also helped to focus on the little things.

“It puts more emphasis on the basic run and its value, it makes gliding an art, it makes marking a harder skill, it’s something you have to identify, target and work on,” said said Schatzley.

The larger bases coupled with pitchers getting only two out attempts per bat allowed teams to be more aggressive on the base paths, which is something the Trash Pandas were focused on this season. Currently, they are third in the league with 104 stolen bases.

“It’s a little easier to get in and steal because the base is bigger, they can slide more outfield, kind of get away from the tag,” Palmeiro said.

“Guys who are truly elite baserunners, it just gives them more options. It makes the ability to come back a little bit easier, it increases their athleticism in the sliding game and it’s just a better overall game” , Schatzley added.

It looks like Major League Baseball is continuing to make experimental rule changes to minors and while it’s an adjustment for the Trash Pandas, they know it only helps them in the long run.

“It’s different, it’s not a traditional game, but when you can get used to it and you don’t have to think, and when you’re used to it, it won’t have that mental effect,” said said Palmeiro.

“Playing traditional baseball, you’ve never even heard of these kinds of rules before. The sooner you can adapt to some new rules, the better. If they’re going to implement this thing in the minor leagues, it’s really good for us to do it here, now,” added Teodosio.

The Trash Pandas will continue their streak with the Mississippi Braves on Saturday night with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

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