The MLB announced they would add a Pitch Clock to games last year. This Pitch Clock is a way to speed games up. Baseball is one of the only sports not to have a clock in games and has been criticized for being too lengthy.
With Spring Training starting, the question, is how are Batters and Pitchers reacting to these new changes?
The New Rules
There will be 30 seconds in between Batter changes in a lineup to resume play. Batters need to be ready for the Pitch with 8 seconds left on the clock.
Pitchers will have 15 seconds on the clock with nobody on base and 20 seconds if there is a base runner. The clock stops when the Pitcher is throwing in motion.
The violation for Pitchers will be an automatic Ball. The violation for Batters will be an automatic Strike.
The First Glimpse
As Spring Training has started, we have seen the Pitch Clock for the first time in games. It has been very interesting to see Batters not prepared in enough time and get an automatic strike. The first victim was All-Star Manny Machado.
Machado was the first batter not to be ready by the 8-second mark, and it goes to show that even some of the best talent will need time to adjust to this new change.
How This Will Change Baseball
Baseball might change forever with this new rule. This year is set to be very interesting as the whole league will need to adjust to this new change. So far, games in Spring Training have been much faster time-wise.
For Batters, they will need to adjust their stance and learn to play faster between pitches. The clock gives a disadvantage in a way to Batters as they need to be in their stance quicker. This might result in Batters making more mistakes and being unable to read pitches.
Pitchers will need to learn how to change their pitches much faster than usual. Once there are base runners, this might result in more steals for the offensive side. Quick runners will take advantage of the Pitchers adhering to the clock and will find the right time to make their run.
Usually, Pitchers take a long time to get into the motion of their pitch, this will cause errors in their throws. Pitchers might get fatigued earlier into the games and this could see more Pitchers enter for a game.
There are a lot of questions still to be answered about how the Pitch Clock will change Baseball. This will be a turning point in MLB history and it questions how MLB history could have changed if there was always a Pitch Clock.
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