Major League Baseball adopts field clock, limits on defensive innings, bigger bases for 2023

Major League Baseball adopted its first field clock, limits on defensive changes and bigger bases for the upcoming season in an effort to...


Major League Baseball adopted its first field clock, limits on defensive changes and bigger bases for the upcoming season in an effort to shorten games and increase offense in a traditional sport.

The decision on time and shift restrictions by the sport’s 11-man competition committee was made on Friday due to unanimous opposition from the panel’s players, who approved the larger bases. The changes had long been pushed by baseball commissioner Rob Manfred in an effort to combat the increase in dead time over four decades and the suffocation of offense in the age of analysis.

“Over the past few years’ extensive testing, minor league folks and a wide range of 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,” Manfred said in a statement. communicated. declaration.

Until last winter, MLB needed a year’s notice to make on-field rule changes without approval from the players’ association. The union agreed to the March lockdown agreement to establish the committee, which includes six management representatives, four players and a referee.

“Players live the game – day after day. Rules and regulations on the pitch affect their preparation, performance and ultimately the integrity of the game itself,” the union said in a statement. “Major League Baseball was unwilling to meaningfully address areas of concern raised by players.”

The field clock will be set at 15 seconds with no runners at base and 20 seconds with runners – up from 14/19 tested in Triple-A this season and 14/18 at lower league levels.

There will be a limit of two of what the MLB calls disengagements – pickoff attempts or steps off the rubber – per board presentation, and an offside would be called for a third or more unless there was an exit. The disengagement threshold would be reset if a runner advances.

A catcher must be in the catcher’s box with nine seconds left on the clock and a hitter in the batter’s box and focused on the pitcher with eight seconds left. Penalties for violations will be a ball called against a pitcher and a strike against a batter.

A batsman may request a timeout from an umpire once per plate presentation, after which it would be granted only at the umpire’s discretion if the request is made while in the batsman’s box.

The clock helped reduce the average time of a nine-inning game in minor leagues from 3 hours and 4 minutes in 2021 to 2:38 this season. The average time of a nine-inning game in the major leagues this year is 3:06; it was 2:46 in 1989, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The travel limit requires two infielders to be on each side of the second and all infielders to be within the outer limit of the infield when the pitcher is on the rubber, and infielders cannot switch sides unless there is a substitution.

Turn usage has exploded over the past decade, from 2,357 in-game balls hits in 2011 to 28,130 in 2016 and 59,063 last year, according to Sports Info Solutions. The changes are on pace to 68,000 this season.

The size of bases will increase from 15 to 18 inch squares, promoting safety – first base players are less likely to get stepped on – but also increasing stolen bases and offense with a 4.5 inch decrease in distance between the first and the second, and the second and the second. third.

Committee members include the CEO of St. Louis, 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 referee Bill Miller. Panelists include 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 alternates.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Major League Baseball adopts field clock, limits on defensive innings, bigger bases for 2023
Major League Baseball adopts field clock, limits on defensive innings, bigger bases for 2023
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