New MLB Rule Changes for 2023: What You Need to Know

Major League Baseball is introducing new rules for the upcoming season that will change the look and feel of the game. The changes include increasing the size of the bases and implementing a pitch timer. These changes are intended to improve player safety and to speed up the pace of games. The new MLB rule changes are expected to make the game more exciting for fans and players alike. But are these rules changing the game too much?

MLB Rule Changes

MLB Rule Changes – Larger Bases

The first of the new MLB rule changes is the new, larger bases will now measure 18 inches on each side, up from the previous size of 15 inches. This change is aimed at making the game safer for players. The larger bases will give players more room to operate and reduce the risk of collisions at first base. The implementation of larger bases in the minor leagues resulted in a 13.5% decrease in “base-related” injuries overall, and there were declines in “base-related” injuries at every level. While there are concerns that larger bases may lead to more aggressive base-running, the results have been mixed. One study showed a success rate on stolen base attempts increased by one to two percent, but in the International League, the success rate on stolen base attempts dropped from 76% to 75% with the implementation of larger bases. However, the distance between bases remains unchanged, measuring 90 feet from home plate to the back corner of both first and third base, and from the corner bases to the middle of second base.

Pitch Timer/Pickoff Limitations

Another rule change aimed at improving the pace of games is the implementation of a pitch timer. Pitchers will have 15 seconds to begin their delivery to home plate when the bases are empty and 20 seconds when there are runners on base. The batter must be in the batter’s box and “alert” by the eight-second mark on the timer. If the pitcher fails to start their motion before the timer runs out, they will be charged a ball, and if the batter is not ready and “alert,” they will be charged a strike. Pitchers are also allowed two “disengagements” without penalty, such as a step-off from the pitching plate or a pick-off attempt. A third such disengagement will be an automatic balk, unless an out is recorded. Hitters must be in the batting box and “alert” with eight seconds remaining on the timer. They do not have to be in a batting stance, but must be in position to get into their stance quickly. Enforcing these rules will involve pitch clocks in center field and behind home plate.

The rule changes for the 2023 baseball season are aimed at making the game safer and more exciting for players and fans alike. The new, larger bases are intended to reduce the risk of injuries, and the pitch timer is designed to speed up the pace of games. These changes should make for a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved in the game. The hope is that with these new MLB rule changes, fans can look forward to a new and improved baseball season.

MLB Rule Changes – No More Shift

Gone are the days of extreme defensive shifts in baseball. The new rule requires two infielders to be positioned on each side of second base, either on the infield dirt or grass, at the time of the pitch. Infielders are allowed to move after the pitch is thrown, but any violation results in an automatic ball. MLB consulted with teams, managers, and coaches to prevent circumventing the rule by forbidding players from being put “in motion” to defeat it. Position changes are now limited within an inning, unless for substitutions or injuries, to prevent teams from putting their best defensive players in position based on the hitting tendencies of each batter.

To clarify, the rule’s “each side of second base” is determined by the corners of second base, not an imaginary line, and infielders must have their feet entirely within the 95-foot radius drawn from the center of the pitcher’s rubber. Non-compliant teams were notified in the offseason, and MLB will monitor compliance throughout the season. The batting team can decline the infraction and live with the result of the play, such as a home run, if they choose to do so. What do you think about the new MLB rule changes?

Bottom Line on MLB Rule Changes: My Opinion

The new rule changes for Major League Baseball in 2023 have been introduced to speed up the game and make it safer, but in my opinion, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is going too far. Baseball has always been considered the most-perfect game in sports, but these rule changes are slowly eroding the essence of the game. The game is losing its traditional elements and becoming more robotic. In the past, the game’s beauty lay in its ability to surprise and excite us with unexpected turns of events. These rule changes take away from that and make the game feel less organic and more contrived. While I understand the need for safety and efficiency, we must not forget the unique charm that makes baseball the timeless classic that it is.

Written by W.G. Brady

W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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