A pitch timer limits the amount of time a pitcher can take between pitches. A pitcher is allowed a maximum of 15 seconds between pitches if the base is empty and a maximum of 20 seconds if he has at least one person on base. This change is expected to speed up the pace of play and shorten game times.
Another new rule places restrictions on the defensive shifts teams can employ.
Two infielders must be placed on either side of second base, and all four infielders must be placed within the outside boundaries of the infield. MLB said the change was intended to “return the game to a more traditional aesthetic” and “encourages more balls to be played, giving players more opportunities to showcase their athleticism and increasing the number of four players. The goal is to offset the increasing trend of alignments in which outfielders appear.
The league will also implement a larger base, expanding from 15-inch squares to 18-inch squares in 2023. Larger bases saw a 13.5% reduction in base-related injuries in the minor leagues this season, according to the league. Plus, with the larger bases, the distance between bases will be 4.5 inches shorter for him, which the league expects to encourage stolen bases.
League commissioner Robert Manfred praised the rule change in a statement.
“These steps are designed to improve pace of play, increase action and reduce injuries – all goals that have overwhelming support among fans,” said Manfred. Told.
“Through extensive testing in recent years, minor league staff and a wide range of fans (from the most loyal to the casual observer) are aware of the overall impact of these changes in making the game even better and more enjoyable. Involve representatives of Major League Baseball players and umpires in this process.”
The Major League Baseball Players Association has issued a statement expressing its disapproval of the new rules regarding pitch clocks and defensive shifts.
“Player coaches across the league participated in on-field rule negotiations through the Athletic Commission and provided specific and actionable feedback on the changes proposed by the Commissioners’ Office,” the Players Association said.
“Major League Baseball is unwilling to meaningfully address the concerns raised by its players, and as a result, the players on the Athletic Commission have unanimously opposed implementing rules covering defensive shifts and the use of pitch timers. I voted.”
The competition committee, which voted to adopt the new rules, was created as part of a collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the league and the players association earlier this year.