NEW YORK – One of the big talking points for the new Major League Baseball season concerns a few rule changes that are coming to games in 2023.
They’ll have an impact on play for all 30 teams in the league as they start spring training this week and then open the season on March 30.
Here are those rule changes and how they’ll impact the game.
Pitch Timer Changes
In an effort to speed up the pace of play, there will be a number of elements that will be timed.
- 30 seconds between batters
- Pitchers must begin their throwing motion 15 seconds after receiving the ball with bases empty on 20 with a runner or runners on base, or be charged with an automatic ball
- Batters must be in the box at the eight-second mark and ready to hit or they will be charged with an automatic strike
- Pitchers can only disengage with the mound twice per at-bat, with the pitch clock resetting each time
Restrictions on Infield Shifts
Unlike in the past, where managers could arrange infield defensive positioning in whichever way they wanted depending on the batter, there are restrictions concerning how many players can be on each side.
Per the rule that comes into effect in 2023, there must be two infielders completely on each side of second base.
Often teams would overload one side of the infield if a batter had a greater percentage to hit it that way.
Size of bases increase
In an effort to increase safety on the basepaths, the size of first, second, and third base will increase for the 2023 season.
Each side of the base will increase from 15 inches to 18 inches, with home plate remaining unchanged.
This is being done by the MLB to give more space for the fielder and runner in an effort to prevent collisions.