MLB clarifies pitch clock rules
NEW YORK –
Major League Baseball clarified its new rules to allow umpires to delay the start of the pitch clock after large swings where a batter loses his footing or when a pitcher covers first base, third, or home, among other clarifications made Wednesday. announced.
The commissioner’s office said in its memo that if a catcher ends an inning on base, at bat or on deck, an umpire can determine that the catcher needs extra time and give the pitcher another warm-up throw and send the catcher to the field. may throw second base.
The MLB also said whether a defensive team violated the new squad restrictions will be subject to a video review involving only the first player to touch a ball after a pitch.
The league also said that after a batter uses his only timeout allowed during a plate appearance, the clock will start when the batter declares ready in addition to the previous specification when he returns to the batter’s box.
The clarifications ahead of the March 30 openings were contained in a four-page memo sent by MLB senior vice president Michael Hill to executives, general managers and assistant general managers, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.
“They’re important in my mind because they respond 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-member league committee, established in the employment agreement last March, approved the pitch clock and squad limits last September due to opposition from the four players on the panel. MLB set the pitch clock to 15 seconds with no runners and 20 seconds with runners.
The average time from spring training games through Monday was down 25 minutes to 2 hours and 36 minutes. Fouls per game were 1.03 last week, up from 2.03 during the first week of spring training, according to the memo.
Teams were told that bat boys and girls in the visiting dugout will meet with the visiting club before each series to discuss player preferences. MLB said it will monitor the bat boys and girls to determine if they are contributing to non-compliance with the pace of game procedures.
MLB said it will issue guidelines to teams on Friday about pitchers’ use of PitchCom. Catchers were allowed to use the device to call pitches last season and pitchers were allowed to experiment with it during spring training.