MLB

MLB To Implement Pitch Clock, Ban Defensive Shifts Beginning In 2023

Sep 9, 2022, 9:53 AM | Updated: 9:55 am

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 10: A general view of a baseball on the pitchers mound before a game between t...

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Significant changes are on the horizon for Major League Baseball.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball commissioner’s office’s 11-person competition committee has 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, as well as ban defensive shifts and install larger bases.

Per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the commissioner’s office has a majority of seats on the sport’s 11-person competition committee, which was newly formed this year as part of the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners. MLB has six appointees, the Players Association four, and there’s also one umpire, giving the league the power to push through its most recent proposal.

The Players Association voted against banning the shift and implementing a pitch clock, but the votes needed for approval were still met on Friday morning. When the topic of bringing in larger bases came to the table, the vote of approval was unanimous.

Here are some specifics on the rule changes, per Passan’s report:

Pitch Clock: The catcher must be in position when the timer hits 10 seconds, the hitter must be 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 overshifting 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 as well as slightly shortens the distance between bases.

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.

Newsletter

MLB

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 18: An image of Willie Mays is displayed on the video board while everyone...

Field Level Media

Birmingham game turns into tribute to baseball legend Willie Mays

The death of baseball legend Willie Mays heightens the emotions for the Giants vs. Cardinals game at Rickwood Field on Thursday.

20 hours ago

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 19: Zack Gelof #20 of the Oakland Athletics tags out Kyle Isbel #28 of t...

Field Level Media

Athletics go for series sweep vs. Seth Lugo, Royals

The Oakland Athletics will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon.

20 hours ago

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 30: Luis Medina #46 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago...

Field Level Media

Luis Medina back in win column as Athletics stymie Royals

Luis Medina and the Oakland Athletics made it two straight over the visiting Kansas City Royals with a 5-1 victory Wednesday night.

21 hours ago

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 19: Mike Yastrzemski #5 of the San Francisco Giants drops a fly ball in right fi...

Field Level Media

Kyle Hendricks strikes out season-high 8 as Cubs edge Giants

The Chicago Cubs held on to beat the visiting San Francisco Giants 6-5 on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber match of a three-game series.

21 hours ago

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Luis Medina #46 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Sa...

Field Level Media

Luis Medina, Athletics to face Salvador Perez, Royals

The Kansas City Royals hope a two-hit night will help soothe the pain in Salvador Perez's right knee as the club's three-game series against the host Oakland Athletics continues Wednesday night.

2 days ago

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 18: Zack Gelof #20 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates his home run agai...

Field Level Media

Athletics halt late Royals rally, pick up win

The Oakland Athletics snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 7-5 victory over the visiting Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

2 days ago

MLB To Implement Pitch Clock, Ban Defensive Shifts Beginning In 2023