03/22 12:39 CDT After player input, MLB allows some pitch clock delays
After player input, MLB allows some pitch clock delays
By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) --- Major League Baseball has clarified its new rules to allow
umpires to delay the start of the pitch clock after big swings in which a
hitter loses footing or when a pitcher covers first base, third or home, in
addition to other clarifications announced Wednesday.
The commissioner's office said in its memo that if a catcher ends an inning on
base, at bat or on deck, an umpire may determine the catcher needs additional
time and allow the pitcher another warmup throw and the catcher to throw to
The MLB also said whether a defensive team violated the new shift restrictions
will be subject to a video review only involving the first player to touch a
ball after a pitch.
The league also said that after a batter uses his one allowed timeout during a
plate appearance, the clock shall start when the hitter indicates he is ready
in addition to the previous specification when he returned to the batter's box.
The clarifications ahead of March 30 openers were contained in a four-page memo
sent by MLB senior vice president Michael Hill to managers, general managers
and assistant general managers, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated
"They're important in my mind because they're responsive to things players said
to us," Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday night before Japan beat the
United States 3-2 in the World Baseball Classic championship game.
Baseball's 11-man competition committee, established in the labor agreement
last March, adopted the pitch clock and shift limits last September over the
opposition of the four players on the panel. MLB set the pitch clock at 15
seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners.
The average time of spring training games through Monday was down 25 minutes to
2 hours, 36 minutes. Violations per game were 1.03 during the past week, down
from 2.03 during spring training's first week, according to the memo.
Teams were told bat boys and girls in the visiting dugout will meet with the
visiting club before each series to discuss the player preferences. MLB said it
will monitor the bat boys and girls to determine whether they contribute to
non-compliance with the pace of game procedures.
MLB said it will issue guidance to teams Friday on use of PitchCom by pitchers.
Catchers were allowed to use the device to call pitches last season, and
pitchers were allowed to experiment with it during spring training.
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