With the 2023 MLB season right around the corner, there is a bunch of controversy around the new rule changes. The Major League Baseball Association wanted to speed up the pace of play and also try to increase safety.
The new base size is going to increase from 15”x15” to 18”x18”. With this change, it will hopefully increase the safety among hitters. This is going to give players an extra 3 inches on each side to decrease ankle sprain rates. This change is also going to make the bases an extra six inches closer, which may not seem like a lot, but think about how many of the super close plays could be turned the other way now. A lot of people are disagreeing with this change because the base size has never been changed, but this is a sign baseball is changing and growing.
To increase the speed the game is played at, the MLB has decided to implement a pitcher and hitter clock. The pitcher will have 15 seconds in between pitches and 20 seconds with a runner on. Before this rule was in play, pitchers could take as long as they wanted before pitches which could be a reason why baseball games last over four hours. The hitter’s clock is going to be shorter than the pitch clock at eight seconds. This means the hitter has to be standing in the box ready to hit before eight seconds hit. Of course there is a punishment if the timer runs out. If the pitch clock runs down from 15 seconds, the batter is rewarded with a ball. On the other hand if the hitter’s clock goes down, the pitcher is rewarded with a strike.
The final change that is coming with the 2023 season is that an infield shift is no longer allowed. There now has to be two position players on each side of second base. Before this rule was in play, some teams would have their defense play on one side of the field because they knew the hitter would hit it there. There are going to be a lot more hits this year because of this change. It is going to open up a lot more holes for more hitter opportunities.
This year is going to be much different than any other season, but it is going to be very interesting to watch.