There is apparently a lot of confusion with Major League Baseball’s new “Pace of Play” rules. In 2018, Commissioner Manfred will roll-out his new “Pace of Play” rules that literally no one asked for in order to do something no one asked for: speed up baseball. Here is a breakdown of the rules for 2018.
Rules that will be added:
Mound visits will be limited to six per team per nine innings, with an extra visit for every extra inning played.
Things that count as mound visits:
Manager, coach, and/or player visit to the mound
Things that do not count as mound visits:
Visits to clean cleats
Injury visits/potential injury visits
Visits after an offensive substitution
Any communication between player and pitcher where neither leave their position
The GRAY area:
If a team is out of visits, the catcher can request a visit at the umpire’s discretion in the event there is miscommunication about pitch signs (or what we call a “cross-up”)
Between inning breaks will be two minutes and five seconds for local games, two minutes and twenty-five seconds for national games, and two minutes and fifty-five seconds for tiebreaker and postseason games.
This has been the case for the past two years, the only difference is:
The umpire will signal for the final warmup pitch
The pitcher must throw the final warmup pitch before the clock hits twenty seconds
The pitcher must begin his windup to throw the first pitch of that half of the inning within five seconds before the clock reaches zero
The pitcher make take as many warmup pitches in the time allowed, but is no longer guaranteed at least eight warmup pitches
This clock also applies to pitching changes
The time starts when the last out of the inning occurs unless the pitcher was on, base, at bat or on deck. In that case the timer begins when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. The clock begins on pitching changes when the relief pitcher crosses the warning track.
In an attempt to speed up instant replay all teams’ video rooms will receive direct slow-motion camera angles with phones lines that will connect to those rooms.
Rules that are not being added (yet, that is):
There will not be a “pitch clock” (clock counting down time to when pitcher must pitch the ball)
Extra-innings will not begin with a player on second base
One #MLB executive told @richeisen about an idea to improve excitement in the game by allowing managers to put anyone up to bat in the 9th inning if trailing. Good idea or crazy? pic.twitter.com/IgM6Zrofer— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) February 20, 2018
Though darth brings up a good point:
does this include people in the stands because i would watch tbh https://t.co/cVLAxNk27Z— darth™ (@darth) February 21, 2018
i mean if u are down by 2 with a runner on 1st base and u see Jim Thome just sitting behind the visitors dugout eating nachos wouldn't u want him batting next in this situation it is just my suggestion— darth™ (@darth) February 21, 2018
As far as this writer can tell, these changes will have little impact on the game as we see it. Players and coaches may need to be more strategic when they ask for mound visits, but six mound visits per game seems to be a healthy amount. Of course, the player’s might have a few problems, but they have reportedly been involved in the creation of these rules. And there is no real penalty for breaking them, though repeat offenders might face disciplinary action (read: a fine).
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