Change is coming to the big leagues! On Friday, Major League Baseball’s competition commission is set to vote on rule changes that will begin in 2023. All of these rules have been in place in the minor leagues over previous seasons, resulting in widespread changes in pace of play and on-field work.
The rules include the first-ever pitch hour, cancel change, larger rules and a limit on the number of times a bowler can pull off the rubber. Here’s everything you need to know about the new rules, what they will mean for players and how the game is likely to change.
The new rule: By the time the court is thrown, there should be four players on the dirt and two on each side of the base. Players will be able to move once the ball leaves the bowler’s hand.
How it will be implemented: If the batting team reaches base and the contestants advance on a ball hit under the violation, the game continues without penalties. If the play had any other consequence – an out, a sacrifice, etc. – the batting team could decide either to accept the penalty – which would add one ball to the hitter’s count – or to reject it, with an erection.
What are they trying to change: The league-wide batting average has fallen to 0.243 this season, the lowest since 1968. The singles shortage in particular has been at the heart of the decline, with this year’s average 5.35 per team the fourth lowest in MLB history — and the 2021 and 2021 seasons. 2020 and 2019 fill the three spots before this year on the all-time list.
What does it mean for short: During the first two months of this minor league season, in the lower tiers of the juniors where transitions are regulated, the average hitting balls in play by left-handed hitters increased by eight points. In Triple-A – where shifts are not blocked – it only increased by three points.
What the players say: It would be hard to find a hitter—especially a left-handed—not on board with the shift away.
“Growing up, we’ve never had this,” Dodgers player Joey Gallo He said earlier this season. “It’s hard to adapt to because it was nothing in the palace… Over time, it became more and more extreme and effective. From a hitter’s point of view, it can be changed.”
Perhaps surprisingly, some shooters are on board with the move, too.
“My biggest complaint about transformation is, how do you explain that to the kids?” Sincerely, Phyllis David Robertson He said. “What’s the point of having a short game if he can’t play a shortstop?”
The new rule: Bowlers will have 15 seconds to throw the field with the bases remaining empty and 20 seconds with a runner on the base. Hitters will need to be in the hitter’s box with eight seconds on the court clock.
How it will be implemented: If the bowler does not start the “movement to give a throw” before the hour is up, he will be charged with the ball. If the hitter is late in entering the box, he will be charged with a strike.
What are they trying to change: The average time for a major league game with nine games in 2022 is 3 hours 4 minutes, which is actually a six-minute drop from last year’s high – but game time has been steadily rising since it first crossed the 3-hour mark in 2014.
While not directly related, Pitch Statcast . Pitch Tracker Shows 108 bowlers have averaged at least 20 seconds per court with the bases empty this season – led by the Atlanta Braves closer Kenley Jansen at 26.1 seconds between tones.
What does it mean for short: When a stricter stadium clock — based on a 14-second clock with the rules blank and an 18-second clock with the runners in place — was introduced in minors earlier this season, the results were immediate. During the first 132 minor league games under the new rules, the average playing time was two hours and 39 minutes. That’s 20 minutes shorter than the control group’s average time of 335 games without the watch to start the season (2 hours, 59 minutes) and 24 minutes shorter than the 2021 season average (3 hours, 3 minutes on average).
What the players say: There was a mixed reaction on the court clock, with veteran softeners concerned about rushing into situations with too much influence. But many young players who have spent time at the Palace over the past two seasons are already getting used to it. Combined with the new take-off rules, tied to the pitch clock, this is bound to create the most controversy among players.
The new rule: Slashes are now one version of “disengagement,” which consists of any time the shooter attempts to shoot, rig it, or get out of the rubber, as well as when the defense asks for a time. Pitchers are allowed to disengage twice per board appearance without penalty.
How it will be implemented: After a third move, the bowler will be charged with a block, unless at least one attacking player advances to base.
What are they trying to change: A lack of work on ground rules has been a concern for MLB in recent attempts to improve the sport’s aesthetics, with stolen rules per team dropping to 0.51 per game in 2022 from 0.66 a decade earlier. (In the ’80s and ’90s, stolen base rates were around the 0.75 range.)
What does it mean for short: In 2021, when take-off rules went into effect in Single-A and High-A, loot base attempts skyrocketed. This year, as the rules are expanded to include every league, baseball is seeing significant gains across minors, despite less steep rises. According to MLB.com, the average stolen base attempts in minors has reached 2.85 attempts per game so far this year — no team in the majors last year reached an average of one.
The new rule: Bases will be increased from 15 inches to 18 inches.
What are they trying to change: An increase in the size of the bases should reduce the casualties around them while increasing the attempts of the base stolen.
What does it mean for short: In Triple-A, season one of Big Bases didn’t make much of a change on its own – but at lower levels, the bigger bases along with rules around the bumps saw big increases in steals per nine innings. Even with the disengagement rules, MLB does not believe that either change will result in teams not being able to control the running game.