Pace of Play Changes Coming to MLB for 2019 Season?

By February 6, 2019 No Comments

Pace of Play Changes Coming to MLB for 2019 Season? Major League Baseball is Currently Discussing Possible Pace of Play Rule Changes for 2019!

Hello Everyone! Welcome to Sports Teller! Today, we will be going over Pace of Play Changes Coming to MLB for 2019 Season? Before we can detail those possible changes, we must go over the recent pace of play changes that took place over the past couple years. Without further adieu, let’s begin!

Pace of Play Changes Coming to MLB for 2019 Season?

Let’s Recap the 2017-2018 Pace of Play Changes in MLB

In 2018, the MLB implemented the limit of mound visits per game. The league limits managers, players, and pitching coaches to six mound visits per nine innings and 1-2 visits in extra innings. In addition to the recent changes, the league altered the intentional walk (IBB) process. The IBB rule saved time from four pitches to a hand signal to the home plate umpire. Now, the big question for this topic is: Will there be more pace of play changes in store for MLB in 2019?

According to ESPN, the league and the players’ union discussed potential changes for 2019. Those proposed changes include a universal use of a DH in both leagues and a trade deadline before the All-Star Break. But what about the speeding up the Game Part of those discussions? For more information, please refer to the Pace of Play Changes Being Discussed in MLB for 2019 Season below!

Pace of Play Changes Being Discussed in MLB for 2019 Season

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Option #1 : 20-Second Pitch Clock to Improve Pace of Play

The MLB wants to implement the 20-second pitch clock as soon as the 2019 season. However, some players oppose to this proposed option since they would face the pressure to make executed pitches in a short time span. In fact, they would be penalized by the home plate umpire with charging a ball to the pitch count if they don’t throw a pitch in 20 seconds. This rule also applies to batters as they need to hurry up and tighten their gloves or bats. If a batter doesn’t meet the 20-second time limit, he would be charged with a strike in the count.

The bright side of this option is that Minor League Baseball implemented this change in 2015 and made the game quicker. According to San Francisco Gate (or SFGATE), the average time for a MiLB game in 2015 is two hours and 43 minutes. The 20-pitch clock made an MiLB contest approximately 12 minutes shorter than an average Major League Baseball game in 2015.

Option #2: Three-Batter Limit for Pitchers to Improve Pace of Play

The league is reportedly considering this idea for 2019 because, according to ESPN, scuffling bullpen pitchers are a contributing factor to games lasting 3-4 hours on average instead of the preferred three hours or less per game. Any pitcher, whether it is a starter or reliever, must face at least three hitters per appearance per game. This pace of play option would eliminate the possibility of a one-out save for closers. The exceptions to this would apply when a pitcher leaves the game with injury or finishes an inning. Unlike the 20-second pitch clock option, the union would prefer to have the three-batter limit installed for 2020 and not for the upcoming season.

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