2023 MLB rules changes: what are they and what makes them different?

Feb 14, 2023, 2:00 PM
General view as a rainbow forms behind Oracle Park during the fourth inning between the San Francis...
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 18: General view as a rainbow forms behind Oracle Park during the fourth inning between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 18, 2022 in San Francisco, California. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-3 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Last fall, the MLB commissioner’s office’s 11-person competition committee voted to implement a set of rule changes that will take place at the beginning of the 2023 regular season.

Following years of contemplation, the league will introduce a pitch clock next season, ban defensive shifts and install larger bases.

What are the new MLB rules for 2023?

Pitch Clock: The catcher must be in position when the timer hits 10 seconds, the hitter must have both feet in the batter’s box and be “alert” at the 8-second mark and the pitcher must start his “motion to pitch” by the expiration of the clock. A violation by the pitcher is an automatic ball. One by the hitter constitutes an automatic strike.

Shift Ban: All four infielders need to be on the infield dirt. Shifting an infielder to play short right field, or simply over-shifting three infielders to the right side of the second-base bag, is no longer legal. The position of defensive players can be reviewed – and, if a defense is deemed illegal, the batting team can choose to accept the outcome of the play or take an automatic ball instead.

Larger Bases: The bases will increase from 15 to 18 square inches, with expectations that the larger size allows fewer collisions around the bag and slightly shortens the distance between bases.

All three new MLB rules will be rolled out during Spring Training as a way for everyone involved to adjust to the changes before Opening Day.

Speeding up the game of baseball has long been a goal of Major League Baseball, and it appears that 2023 will be the beginning of a new era for America’s pastime.

READ MORE FROM SACTOWN SPORTS: MLB Spring Training: Important dates to know for Giants, A’s



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2023 MLB rules changes: what are they and what makes them different?