Diamondbacks bringing back bullpen cart this season (pic)
The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced the revival of a nostalgic relic from Major League Baseball’s halcyon days of yore: The bullpen cart.
This is actually happening.
Introducing the OnTrac Bullpen Cart! #GenerationDbacks pic.twitter.com/K0eTiED5f9
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 6, 2018
It has been over two decades since a team last used a bullpen cart, when the Milwaukee Brewers stopped using a version — a Harley-Davidson outfitted with a sidecar — in 1995.
“I think it wore out its welcome,” Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall said, via ESPN. “There were these new stadiums, and the focus shifted to the guys running through gates and onto the mound. We think the time is right to bring it back.”
The Diamondbacks purchased two golf carts and retrofitted them with ball cap-style toppers. In total, the reviving of the bullpen carts cost the team approximately $20,000.
D-backs bullpen coach Mike Fetters,indicated the team will not force pitchers to use the carts, saying, “Whatever makes them comfortable. We’re not going to force it.”
MLB rules dictate that the bullpen cart be made available for both the home and visiting teams. The carts shall not be used to allow pitchers additional warm-up time as well. The plan is for the carts to travel from the bullpen to the warning track and then down either the first- or third-base lines. Pitchers will be dropped off by the dugout and from there they will walk to the mound.
As noted by Hall, the use of the bullpen carts may come with the added bonus of possibly speeding up games, an issue that has been the source of much debate, especially this past offseason.
“An ancillary benefit might be that it could speed up the game,” Hall said. “I expect a lot of teams to follow suit.”