Adam Ottavino: Game is different now, Babe Ruth would struggle

Ottavino: I'd 'strike out Babe Ruth every time' (1:29)

Adam Ottavino says that he would strike out Babe Ruth "every time" because the game has changed so much. (1:29)

Whichever team signs free-agent reliever Adam Ottavino will have a confident pitcher.

Assessing the state of today's game on MLB's Statcast podcast, the 33-year-old right-hander said that Babe Ruth couldn't keep up.

"I had an argument with a coach in Triple-A about Babe Ruth's effectiveness in today's game," Ottavino said. "I said, 'Babe Ruth, with that swing, swinging that bat, I got him hitting .140 with eight homers.'

"He was like, 'Are you nuts? Babe Ruth would hit .370 with 60 homers,' and I'm like, 'I would strike Babe Ruth out every time.'

"I'm not trying to disrespect him, you know, rest in peace, you know, shoutout to Babe Ruth. But it was a different game. I mean, the guy ate hot dogs and drank beer and did whatever he did. It was just a different game."

Ottavino had a breakout 2018 campaign, appearing in 75 games with a 2.43 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 77⅔ innings. That came after he posted a 5.06 ERA with 63 K's in 53⅓ innings the year before.

In a 22-year career, Ruth batted .342 with 714 homers. He is the all-time leader in slugging percentage at .690 and OPS at 1.164.

And Ruth likely could strike out Ottavino every time. The left-hander started his career as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, winning 20 games twice and posting a career 2.28 ERA. He won two games in the 1918 World Series when the Red Sox beat the Chicago Cubs in six games.