MLB Implements New Pitch Timer and Players are Struggling

MLB Implements New Pitch Timer and Players are Struggling


The MLB has implemented a new pitch timer to help speed up games in the 2023 season. For years, fans and commentators have mentioned how baseball games are taking longer and longer to wrap up. A lot of the blame for this has landed on the number of times pitchers and batters alike take between pitches to set up. 

Conventional wisdom states that hitters and pitchers don’t need so much time between hurls to get themselves in order. Instead, they take long breaks either off the mound or out of the batter’s box in order to psyche out their opponents. 

Fifteen Seconds

Pitchers will now have fifteen seconds between each hurl to get back into position and throw the next pitch. If there are runners on base, they’re given an additional five seconds to throw. The league hopes these new rules will speed up baseball games across the season. In recent years, the average game time has ballooned out to over three hours just to complete nine innings. 

The pressure isn’t just on pitchers, either. Hitters will have only one time-out per plate appearance under these rules. Likewise, batters need to get to the box within thirty seconds of the previous hitter’s plate appearance once it’s their turn at bat. 

The New Rules Cause Confusion

A spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox on Saturday showcased just how confusing the new rules are going to be for players initially. At the end of the game, Braves batter Cal Conley went up to the box. The bases were loaded and the game was tied up 6-6. Then, suddenly, the umpire awarded Conley his third strike after he failed to get into the batter’s box by the time the pitch clock hit eight seconds.

The situation confused Conley, the players, the fans in attendance, and even the coaches of both teams. However, the league told reporters that the umpire made the right call in this instance and followed the exact rules that will be in place for this season. 

A Faster MLB?

These new timers, alongside new, larger bases, will likely change the game dramatically in the 2023 season. With baseball fighting for attention from other sports, the MLB is clearly hoping to help the sport appeal to a younger audience. Time will tell whether these changes will be enough to win over would-be fans with a leaner, meaner vision of baseball.