Minor League Baseball announces new pace-of-play rules

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 15, 2018

"We believe these changes to extra innings will enhance the fans' enjoyment of the game and will become something that the fans will look forward to on nights where the game is tied late in the contest", said Minor League Baseball president Pat O'Conner in a press release.

Pitchers at the Triple-A and Double-A levels will be subject to a 15-second clock both with no runners on base and a 20-second clock when there are runners on base. Triple-A clubs will be allowed six (6) visits per team, Double-A clubs will be allowed eight (8) visits per team, Single-A clubs will be allowed 10 visits per team and there will not be a limit on mound visits for Short Season and Rookie-level clubs.

Additionally, the limits on mound visits are an adaptation of MLB's new policy of six per game that was implemented last month for this season.

MiLB laid out a plan to speed up the game by starting extra innings with a runner on second base, limiting mound visits and using a 15-second pitch clock with no runners on base.

A runner who starts an extra inning at second shall be counted as reaching on an error for purposes of determining earned runs, but no errors shall be charged. Mound visits do not include discussions between the pitcher and positional player in-between at-bats and "do not require either the position player or the pitcher to relocate", a player visiting the mound to clean his spikes, an injury or visits to the mound after a substitution offensively. Visits to the mound after the announcement of an offensive substitution. Another quarter or so are done after 11, meaning that two-thirds of extra innings games in total go 11 innings or fewer. Strategically, it is dumb as hell.

The rule change that is likely to make the biggest impact on both ends is that in extra innings, the person in the batting order who is right before the leadoff batter will automatically be on second base.

The average time of a nine-inning game in the majors was a record 3:05 last season, up from 2:46 in 2005. Development is the top priority down there, winning is secondary, and the rule change helps avoid overworking arms. Cooper. Teams want games over as soon as possible.

"We believe these changes to extra innings will enhance the fans' enjoyment of the game and will become something that the fans will look forward to on nights where the game is tied late in the contest", said Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Conner. I'm cool with the runner on second in the minors. I absolutely do not want it at the Major League Baseball level.

The rules are meant to shorten the length of extra-inning games and the number of mound visits throughout a game, keeping in mind player safety and providing more action for viewers.

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