Major Changes in the MLB

Major Changes in the MLB

Written by McKenna Orrico, News Editor, Editor-in-chief

With Major League Baseball starting the 2023 season in a week, it is time to get caught up with the big changes being implemented this season. The three game-changing rules being added this season have to do with the pitch clock, the defensive shift, and the base size. These rules are not completely new to baseball as a whole. The minor leagues and collegiate teams have served as a trial run for new pieces of the game like pitch clock since as early as 2011. 


Pitch Clock

America’s pastime can sometimes make time move very slow. The average MLB game lasts around three hours, and in bitter cold or the scorching heat, the extra time taken by pitchers and batters needed to be cut down. Thus, the MLB is introducing the pitch clock. The pitch clock is a tool meant to speed up the game and keep both pitchers and batter accountable for the time taken up at the mound/plate. Starting this season, pitchers will have 20 seconds to pitch when no runners are on base, and hitters will have to be in the batter’s box 8 seconds before the clock runs out. Penalties for pitchers if the rule is broken is they will be charged a ball and for hitters, they will be charged a strike.


The Shift

In previous years, the shift was a defensive move used by the infield to target the side of the field that the batter would most likely hit the ball to. The extensive statistical analysis created upset for fans because it severely decreased the amount of hits per game. To increase the game play, the MLB has decided to eliminate the shift. Starting this season, it will be required that two defensive players be on either side of the second base bag. If the new defensive rule is violated, then there will be a ball added to the pitchers count. 


Base Size

Starting this year, the size of bases will increase from 15 inches to 18 inches. The decision to change the size of the equipment was one made in an effort to mitigate the amount of related injuries. This will give base runners and infielders more room to make plays without being in each other’s way. Another consequence of the larger bases is that it makes it easier for players to steal bases. 


With the new additions, fans and others are finally getting their voices heard about the changes they want to see and are excited to see the outcomes of these new rules in the 2023 MLB season.