The rule revisions for the 2023 MLB season are designed to speed up the play in an attempt of making the game appeal to a wider audience.
One of the most important changes to the rules in recent years has been the addition of a pitch timer, limits on defensive shifts, and bigger bases. Here is a helpful primer on the new regulations so that you know what to expect before visiting singbet to check the odds for the next big game.
What are the new rules?
The introduction of new rules is one of the most interesting aspects of the latest MLB news, and we’ll go over all three rules here and explore their genesis in the next section.
- Pitch timer: It will still be innings, not minutes, that define a game’s duration. In 2023, MLB’s timing will alter slightly from what we have become familiar with. When there are no runners on base, the duration between pitches is 15 seconds, and when there are runners on base, it’s 20 seconds. The time limit of 30 seconds between hitters is the same as in the lower leagues.
Pitchers will no longer be able to toss over to a base as frequently as they choose for the first time. They will only be allowed two “disengagements,” which could be either pickoff attempts or step offs. Should a pitcher disengage for a pickoff attempt a third time, the runner moves one base if the effort is not successful.
- Shift restrictions: The defensive team is required to have at least four infielders on the field, with two or more infielders on either side of the second base. The rule changes are made to boost batting averages on balls put in play and give infielders more opportunities to show off their skills with spectacular defensive plays.
- Bigger bases: There are now 18 inches of space between first, second, and third base, up from the previous 15 inches, while home plate has remained the same size. Fielders and runners now have more freedom to move around without the risk of colliding, which is the primary motivation for the larger bases. However, with a shorter distance between them, runners may have an easier time stealing bases and executing bang-bang plays.
To allow for proper preparation for the 2023 regular season opener, they will be in force for the entirety of spring training. The referees have been told to start issuing penalties immediately.
How did the rule changes begin?
As Major League Baseball looked for methods to remedy the issue of games dragging with less action, the league surveyed its fans extensively to ascertain what kind of baseball they liked best, a move that gave them a vivid picture of what kind of game the majority of fans would be excited to watch.
There was widespread agreement that the MLB needed more action, more balls in play (i.e., fewer home runs, fewer strikeouts, and fewer walks), more agility on the basepaths and in the field, and a faster pace.
Then, the Major League Baseball Competition Committee and the Playing Rules Committee made a list of possible rule changes that would improve the fan experience.