Major League Baseball adopted its first pitch clock, range of defensive innings, and large bases for the next season in an effort to shorten the game and increase the offense in the tradition-bound game.
The decision on clock-and-shift restrictions by the sport’s 11-member competition committee was made on Friday over unanimous opposition from players on the panel, who approved the larger bases. The long-standing changes were put forward by baseball commissioner Rob Manfred over four decades in an effort to tackle the increase in dead time and the suffocation of crime in the era of analytics.
“During extensive testing in recent years, a wide range of minor league personnel and fans – from the most loyal to casual observers – have recognized the collective impact of these changes in making the game even better and more enjoyable,” said Manfred. he said. Statement.
Until last winter, MLB required a year’s advance notice to make changes to on-field rules without the approval of the players’ union. The union agreed to set up the committee, consisting of six management representatives, four players and an umpire, in agreement to the March lockdown.
“Players live the game – day in and day out. The rules and regulations on the field affect their preparation, performance and ultimately the integrity of the game,” the association said in a statement. “Major League Baseball was unprepared to meaningfully address the areas of concern raised by the players.”
The pitch clock will be set at 15 seconds with no runners-up at base and 20 seconds with runners-up – up from the 14/19 tested in Triple-A this season and 14/18 at lower minor league levels.
In what MLB says, there will be a limit of two — pickoff attempts or steps from the rubber — per plate appearance, and a balk will be called for a third or more unless there is an out. If a runner advances the disengagement limit will be reset.
A catcher must be in the catcher box with nine seconds left on the clock and a hitter in the batter box with eight seconds remaining to focus on the pitcher. Penalties for a violation shall be a ball called against a pitcher and a strike against a batsman.
A batsman may ask the umpire for one time per plate appearance, and thereafter it shall be granted only at the umpire’s discretion if the request is made in the batsman’s box.
The clock has helped reduce the average time of nine-innings games in the minor leagues from 3 hours, 4 minutes in 2021 to 2:38 this season. The average time of nine-innings games in the major leagues this year is 3:06; According to the Elias Sports Bureau, in 1989 it was 2:46.
The range of the shift requires the two infielders to be on either side of the other and all infielders must be within the outer boundary of the infield when the pitcher is on rubber, and the infielder cannot switch sides unless a replacement is made.
According to SportsInfo Solutions, innings used over the past decade has gone from balls hit in games 2,357 times in 2011 to 28,130 in 2016 and 59,063 last year. There are 68,000 shifts going on this season.
Bases will increase in size from 15 to 18-inches square, boosting security—first basemen are less likely to advance—but with a 4.5-inch reduction in the distance between first and second bases to steal bases and crime. Promote also, and the second and third.
Members of the committees include St. Louis CEO Bill DeWitt Jr., San Francisco President Greg Johnson, Colorado CEO Dick Monfort, Toronto CEO Mark Shapiro, Seattle President John Stanton and Boston President Tom Werner and umpire Bill Miller. Players on the panel included Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow, Blue Jays infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield and Giants outfielder Austin Slater, and Cubs infielder Ian Happ also participated as a substitute.