MLB announces dramatic rule changes for 2023 season

Friday was another losing day for baseball purists, as Major League Baseball announced another round of sweeping rule changes at the sport’s highest level. Starting in 2023, shifts will be banned, pitch clocks will be enforced and larger bags will be installed in hopes of “improving the pace of play, action and safety to MLB levels” . Banning shifts, an increasingly hot topic over the past decade as teams use analytics to precisely position players and reduce hits, was enacted by the league to ” better showcase (players’) athleticism and restore more traditional results on batted balls.” The new rule will require infielders to stay on the pre-clay pitch and prohibit them from changing sides to a certain batter. The move to larger bases — from 15 square inches to 18 — has been called a safety measure to limit collisions, especially at first base. MLB says home plate will remain the same size, however, keeping the batting zones unchanged Finally, a pitch clock will give pitchers just 30 seconds between batters, 25 seconds between pitches with runners on base just 15 seconds to pitch if the base paths are clear. If a player violates these time limits, a ball will be given to the batter, the league says. In total, this change alone should reduce the average playing time of an MLB game by 26 minutes. The three changes were tested in the minor leagues this year and voted on Friday by the new “Joint Competition Committee”.

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