New MLB Rules Aim To Speed Baseball Games In 2018

New MLB Rules Aim To Speed Baseball Games In 2018

"I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the Players Association to take concrete steps to address pace of play with the cooperation of players", Manfred said in a statement.

The approved pace-of-play rule changes did not come with a ringing endorsement from MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark.

A view of a Major League Baseball on deck circle at Comerica Park.

Manfred could have unilaterally implemented rule changes this year, though per the collective bargaining agreement, he could only implement last year's rule change proposal. I expect another round of pitch clock talk next offseason. Obviously, that was not put into place this year.

The new rules won't be without exceptions.

Starting with the 2018 season, Major League Baseball will impose stricter limits on mound visits by managers, coaches and players; however, there are some exceptions.

More news: Winter Olympics: USA beat Slovakia to reach men's ice hockey quarter-finals

Instead, MLB announced Monday, the 2018 season will mark a cap on the number of mound visits per game and decreased times for relievers entering the game and between-inning breaks.

- Also, normal communication between player and pitcher that does not require either to vacate their position on the field does not count as a visit.

Yet does anything prompt patrons to check the time more than those endless mound visits? A pitching change will not count as a visit. That remains the same. The rule change will cut down on those visits considerably.

An infielder goes to the mound to clean his spikes during rainy conditions. Nor does visiting if there is a potential injury to the pitcher.

A visit after a pinch-hitter is announced. And if the pitcher and catcher are "crossed up" - meaning they aren't on the same page signal-wise - it's at the umpire's discretion to allow them to sort it out (permission to approach the mound, your honor?).

"I like the fact that every time we've engaged on something new, there's been conversation, in-depth conversation, with everyone involved", Hurdle said.

More news: United States women's cross-country wins gold

- Another important change is that a pitcher is no longer guaranteed eight warmup pitches between innings.

Additionally, a pitcher must throw his final warm-up pitch by the time the between-innings counter hits 20 seconds, and the batter must proceed to the batter's box after that warm-up pitch is thrown.

0 seconds remaining: Pitcher must begin to deliver a pitch to the batter.

Start of the timer for breaksCommercial breaks have been shortened this season.

There will be no automatic ball/strike penalties for timer violations.

To help with speed of play, the timing between innings will not change. Repeat offenders of the rule could be subject to a fine, although there won't be any punishment for violating the rule during a game. However, other rule changes were announced Monday which could assist in quickening the pace and in decreasing the overall time of games. And it's an easy pill to swallow now that pitch clocks are officially off the table for the season.

More news: French Ice Dancer Has Wardrobe Malfunction

What's worth keeping an eye on now is when the pitch clock re-enters the debate. Without knowing the full details, this does feel like a small win for the union, or at least for its members, who were adamantly against the clock and Manfred's attempts to force it upon them.

Related Articles