Home MLB Time To Catch Up On MLB’s New Rule Changes

Time To Catch Up On MLB’s New Rule Changes

Time To Catch Up On MLB’s New Rule Changes

With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training this week, baseball season is officially upon us.

With a focus on improving pace-of-play and game action in general, MLB has made the following rule changes – all of which will go into effect immediately…

-Pitch Clock: Once the catcher returns the ball, the pitcher will have 15 seconds to begin their motion – 20 seconds between pitches with runners on base… The pitcher will be charged a ball if he breaks the rule… Batters will have one timeout per plate appearance, but must be in the batter’s box and ready by the eight second mark on the clock (otherwise a strike will be charged).

-Limited Pickoff Attempts: Pitchers will only be allowed two disengagements from the rubber for each batter – whether to attempt a pickoff or get a new sign… If there’s a third disengagement, it is treated as a balk, unless an out is recorded (successful pickoff).

-No More Shifts: When the ball is pitched, all four infielders must be on the infield dirt (or infield grass) with two positioned on each side of second base.

-Larger Bases: The size of each base will increase from 15 inches to 18 inches.

-Restriction on Position Players Pitching: Position players can only pitch in extra innings or in the 9th inning when their team is losing by 8+ runs or leading by 10+ runs.

All of these changes were tested in more than 8,000 Minor League games as well as the independent Atlantic League.

The results were positive as far as what MLB is seeking to accomplish.

The pitch clock helped shortened length-of-game time by an average of 25 minutes (3:03 hours to 2:38).

As far as stolen base activity, there was an increase in attempts from 2.23 per game to 2.81 – and success rate jumped 10% (68% to 78%).

Traditional baseball fans hate the pitch clock and pickoff attempt rule changes – while others welcome them with open arms knowing the changes will surely result in shorter games.

The one thing most people hate is the shift – Some will argue that it’s smart strategy and shouldn’t be banned, but there’s no denying the change will result in more runners on the bases and overall action increasing dramatically.

Unfortunately, we also received the horrible news that the atrocious “automatic runner on second base in extra innings” rule is now permanent for all regular season games.

There’s no rarer breed than the people who actually think that rule is a good idea…



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