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Rule changes for 2023


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Ken Rosenthal from the Athletic reported today about MLB voting in new rule changes for 2023.  The changes have been widely reported for a while, but it sounds like they'll officially come into MLB after the vote. The changes include implementing a pitch clock, severely limiting the ability to shift infielders, and expanding the size of the bases from 15 inches to 18 inches. There's also a proposed limit on the number of times a pitcher can "disengage" with the mound, which could increase stolen bases. Not sure how I feel about a pitch clock, but it's in use in the minors. I LOVE the shift limitations. Hopefully, they implement that the 3B and SS have to stay on the LF side of 2nd base, and the 2B and 1B have to stay on the RF side of 2nd base. The larger base size will be kind of strange. What do you guys/gals think about the changes?

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Honestly, I think most of these changes are for the better.

1. Pitch Clock-There are too many MLB pitchers out there that haven't had to deal with a pitch clock. Maybe just a handful?? But for the most part, these guys are pretty used to it by now. They understand that they cannot take forever. Also, with the ear piece thing, it should be much of a problem at this point. 

2. Limiting the shifting of infielders is fine. At the same time I also don't like it because it doesn't teach hitters to use the whole field. It allows them to continue to pull the ball to their respective fields. Is it going to help the Twins? With Keplar, absolutely. With Arraez, probably not. Its gonna be a double-edged sword for most teams.

3. The larger bases and limit of the "disengage" of the mound will definitely help speed up the game and potentially help limit injuries to fielders when a player slides into the bag. Now there will be almost no excuse for a fielder blocking off a sliding lane for the runner. 

 

All in all, I think these are changes that need to come to baseball. This is a game that doesn't do much changing, whether that be for better or worse, but IMO this is a step in the right direction. 

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They should require defenses to shift.  In the opposite direction of how they do it now.  If the powers that be like the pull-happy style we've found ourselves in, let's go the whole way and make the first baseman defend Kepler, all by himself.  Or just decree that any pitch pulled fair to the batter's natural direction is an automatic two base hit; that should pump up the offense some.

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Interesting the "pick-off" rule. Will teams actually try and steal more, especially with that couple of inches of more of a base?

Can we eliminate the "ghost runner" in extra innings, please?

And, maybe, a rule that a starting pitcher has to face at least 25 batters or 100 pitches, unless he has given up 20 or more runs in the game.

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Love the pitch clock. You see the young pitchers in MLB - wow, look how fast he gets ready and throws the next pitch.

Like the bigger bases. Stolen base comparisons are no longer possible for any season prior to 2023. That's just me being old and liking to have this stay the same. I think it will make for a lot more stolen bases as the runners are often only out by an inch or two right now many times. Also, makes fast guys in the minors (like Helman, Martin, Emma Rodriguez) that much more valuable in the future. 

Don't like the illegal shift rule change. You're a major league hitter. Learn to bunt and hit the other way and your pull side will open back up in a hurry.

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One of the latest games I watched was absolutely painful to watch. I think it was 8/30 vs. Boston. Archer vs. Crawford. I got so frustrated I actually started counting the time between pitches for Archer and it was in the 35-40 second range between deliveries for a while early in the game. Crawford was no speed demon either.

Pitch clock. Please, please, please.

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Pitch clock: Meh. Try it, fine. Wouldnt be needed if these guys learned how to pitch.

Shifts/Ghost Runner: Good riddance.

Big bases: Not buying it will reduce injuries. Hope it does. Believe it when I see it.

Has anybody found a copy online of the 2022 CBA? Why is this not published? More closely guarded than state nuclear secrets, but thats not saying much anymore is it. 

Well, if someone comes across it please drop a link on TD. I'm dying to peruse a guaranteed best seller.....

 

 

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8 hours ago, Rosterman said:

Interesting the "pick-off" rule. Will teams actually try and steal more, especially with that couple of inches of more of a base?

Can we eliminate the "ghost runner" in extra innings, please?

And, maybe, a rule that a starting pitcher has to face at least 25 batters or 100 pitches, unless he has given up 20 or more runs in the game.

Does the ghost runner actually help end the game faster?  Seems like it just guarantees a run for both teams before going into the 11th

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I love the pitch clock, it will make the game move faster.  I like the disengage mound rule as it lead to possibly more strategy, and action.  I am not a fan of the anti shift rule, but it is not super extreme because middle infielders can still play very close to second base but still be on their side of it, it mainly stops the 2nd baseman from playing deep in the outfield, which I think is dumb, if you can play deep and still get the out at 1st why not let them do it?  The base size is expected to lead to more stolen bases, and less injuries, as has been evidenced in the minors where it has been tested. 

The moves are all targeted to speed up play, and increase action in the field, which hopefully it will.  If it makes the game more entertaining I am for it.  

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Pitch clock?  How about a limit on the number of times you can "adjust" your batting gloves?

Shift?  Just because major league hitter's can't adapt their hitting to defeat the shift, the MLB decides to adapt their rules to help them.  Stupid!

Bigger bases?  Who cares.  Maury Wills and Ricky Henderson (and many others) stole bases with ease with regular bases.  Players could be taught to do the same.

Disengagement.  Another instance of changing the rules to help the offense.  Stolen bases may increase but it won't be based on skill any more.  Bigger bases and limited "disengagement" are just an attempt by MLB to help the offense perform better (on paper only).  

 

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22 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

Pitch clock?  How about a limit on the number of times you can "adjust" your batting gloves?

Shift?  Just because major league hitter's can't adapt their hitting to defeat the shift, the MLB decides to adapt their rules to help them.  Stupid!

Bigger bases?  Who cares.  Maury Wills and Ricky Henderson (and many others) stole bases with ease with regular bases.  Players could be taught to do the same.

Disengagement.  Another instance of changing the rules to help the offense.  Stolen bases may increase but it won't be based on skill any more.  Bigger bases and limited "disengagement" are just an attempt by MLB to help the offense perform better (on paper only).  

 

Yes - the batting gloves thing is ridiculous.  They were just fine when you didn't swing at that last pitch, must you really to readjust them?

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I understand HR's are down overall, but I would like to see a time limit implemented on HR trots. There is no reason to take 29+ seconds to round the bases. If CJ Cron, Evan Longoria and Josh Donaldson can average 24 seconds or less, everyone can. Nolan Arenado's sprint speed (25.4 ft/sec) falls between Urshela (25.8 ft/sec) and Sanchez (25.2 ft/sec) and his avg HR trot is 21.1 seconds, covering 28 HR. Might get rid of some of the self-admiring (Gordon, Correa among others).

As for the other rules, there is a time limit (sort of) in the rule book already that used to be enforced, and a rule about defensive player placement (learn how to hit it where they ain't). 

And absolutely get rid of the extra inning runner rule.

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Love the pitch clock (see Louie Varland) but I think the rule should be eased in over the course of next season.  Maybe a couple warnings through May.  One warning through July.  Full rule enforcement in August and September.  Playoffs? I don't know.

Manfred Man needs to go, or, at the very least, it shouldn't be used until the 12th or 13th inning.

I wish the hitters would just learn to adjust to the shifts, but I'm OK with adjusting shift rules for game balance.

I don't care much for the larger bases.  The Twins' disregard for defending or getting advantage in the running game will mean this rule hurts them more compared to other teams.

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17 hours ago, ashbury said:

They should require defenses to shift.  In the opposite direction of how they do it now.  If the powers that be like the pull-happy style we've found ourselves in, let's go the whole way and make the first baseman defend Kepler, all by himself.  Or just decree that any pitch pulled fair to the batter's natural direction is an automatic two base hit; that should pump up the offense some.

Kepler might be able to bat over .300 then!!!

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I'm in the minority but I don't think the shift change will actually have that big of an impact. Most of the time when a player hit's into the shift, they mostly just hit it to where the second baseman was, anyway. 

I don't get why we needed a bigger bag but I don't really care. The pitch clock could be useful. Really interested to see how that works.

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51 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

And the players voted against everything. Sigh. The MLBPA can't get out of its own way at times.

 

Well, apparently, they had issues they thought should have been heard but weren't. Not sure what they were but they probably had to do with tanking and payroll so ...

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1 minute ago, gunnarthor said:

I'm in the minority but I don't think the shift change will actually have that big of an impact. Most of the time when a player hit's into the shift, they mostly just hit it to where the second baseman was, anyway. 

I don't get why we needed a bigger bag but I don't really care. The pitch clock could be useful. Really interested to see how that works.

https://fanbuzz.com/mlb/pedro-florimon-philadelphia-phillies-ankle-injury-video/

This is why. At 2B and 3B, you can't overrun the base, but at 1B, you can. Too many injuries stepping on the edge of the bag or getting tangled up in the 1B's foot/leg. I suppose MLB could have just increased the size of the 1B. But, whatever.

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3 hours ago, terrydactyls said:

Pitch clock?  How about a limit on the number of times you can "adjust" your batting gloves?

Shift?  Just because major league hitter's can't adapt their hitting to defeat the shift, the MLB decides to adapt their rules to help them.  Stupid!

Bigger bases?  Who cares.  Maury Wills and Ricky Henderson (and many others) stole bases with ease with regular bases.  Players could be taught to do the same.

Disengagement.  Another instance of changing the rules to help the offense.  Stolen bases may increase but it won't be based on skill any more.  Bigger bases and limited "disengagement" are just an attempt by MLB to help the offense perform better (on paper only).  

 

Part of the pitch clock requires the batter be in the box and paying attention with 8 seconds left, they get 1 time out.  If they are not in the box with 8 seconds left, they get a strike called. So if they can adjust their gloves in the amount of time required, then there will be no limit, but if not, then the limit will be the 1 time out. 

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32 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

It seems like people kinda need to hear this, but MLB is not eliminating the shift.

 

A 3B can still stand where the SS normally stands. A SS can still stand just a tick to the far side of 2B. The shift is still acceptable. The super extreme version of the shift cannot be used.

Per MLB, here's the explanation of the new shift restrictions: 

  • The four infielders must be within the outer boundary of the infield (i.e. cleats in the dirt) when the pitcher is on the rubber.
  • Infielders may not switch sides. In other words, a team cannot reposition its best defender on the side of the infield the batter is more likely to hit the ball.
  • If the infielders are not aligned properly at the time of the pitch, the offense can choose an automatic ball or the result of the play.
  • This rule does not preclude a team from positioning an outfielder in the infield or in the shallow outfield grass in certain situations. But it does prohibit four-outfielder alignments.

I can't wait to see these new rules implemented. I want the pitch clock, and I want the shift restrictions. The pitcher "disengaging" from the rubber will be interesting, and the size of the bases may or may not be a good idea...we'll see. All in all, I like what they're proposing. 

 

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I don't understand how so many people are so sure that hitters' inability to "hit it where they ain't" is a failure of hitters' work ethic or coaches' willingness to teach hitting. Pitchers' work ethic seems to be just fine since velocity and stuff keep improving. It seems odd that this epidemic of unmotivated, undercoached players could be limited to position players only.

Hypothetically, let's pretend it could be proven without a doubt that today's pitchers have stuff that's just too good for a human beings with human reflexes to hit with the level of finesse needed to send the ball to the part of the field where they want it to go. Would you want them to restrict infield shifts then, or would you still want the rules to stay the same?

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