MLB Winter Meetings: Phillies content without making a splash, Rob Thomson didn’t watch the World Series, and MLB Rule 5 Draft update
MLB Winter Meetings are underway in Nashville, Tennessee and I have a few updates for…
Pitchers and Catchers kicks off in just over a week, and the MLB is gearing up for a pretty significant change to their game in 2023.
After agreeing on a new CBA last season, multiple changes were hidden in the fact of the baseball lockout that nearly delayed the season. These new changes will be pretty significant to the game and will be a weird change for players, coaches, umpires, and fans, but they will ultimately benefit everyone in the long run.
The pitch timer is something that has been talked about for many years, but the MLB will finally implement it into their games after two years of trial runs in the Minor Leagues.
When the bases are clear, the pitch clock will be 15 seconds long. When any runner is on base, no matter the base or how many, the pitch clock will boost an extra five seconds to 20 seconds. The goal of the pitch timer is to speed up the game, which is something that true baseball fans don’t really want. Most pitchers don’t take that long in between pitches, so this shouldn’t play a huge effect, but it will be noticeable.
Pitchers will also be limited to two disengagements from the mound per at-bat with a runner on first. The disengagements will reset the clock, such as pick-offs or step-offs. Batters must be in the batter’s box and ready to hit by the 8-second mark on the clock: they will be charged with an automatic strike if not ready.
Here’s the big one. The shift is gone.
Watching your favorite left-handed hitter have three players on the right side of second base is no more. With the new rules from the MLB, two players in the infield will have to be on either side of second base at all times, with both feet in the dirt. This will benefit a lot of hitters, but will also be able to showcase better across-the-diamond defensive plays.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd base have all been expanded from 15 to 18 inches. The expansion of the bases will give the runner a bigger path as they’re running or sliding into the base but still gives the fielder enough room for their foot to be on the bag.
Base expansion will also prevent injuries, where we’ve seen many fingers getting stepped on or ankles twisted running hard through these small bases in the past.
These rules will not be featured in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, which will feature many different Phillies, including JT Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Garrett Stubbs, and Seranthony Dominguez.