Minor League Baseball announced some rule changes yesterday to improve pace of play that has some Kansas City Royals fans upset. The rules deal with extra innings, pitch clocks, and limited mound visits.
Just before Spring Training, the MLB announced that mound visits will be limited to a certain amount, depending on the minor-league level in which the game is played. These changes will be present in every team’s system, including that of the Kansas City Royals. In AAA it will be six visits, AA will have eight, and A will have ten. All levels lower than A ball won’t be limited.
If the game goes into extra innings, each team will get an extra visit each inning. There were consequences announced, however, getting ejected has been discussed at the major league level. More short mound visits will be granted by the umpire the event of signs being mixed up.
In addition to each team earning a mound visit in extra innings, teams will also have an extra runner start on second base. This runner will be the last batter from the previous inning. The MiLB (Minor League Baseball) is hoping this will help speed up games. What it is doing is adding the potential for runs to be scored in extra innings. I’m not sure if this will speed up the game, but it’ll certainly change the strategy used in extra innings.
A pitch clock of 15 seconds will be added in the minor leagues with no runners on base. When there is a runner on base, the clock will be 20 seconds. The batter must be in the batter’s box by the seven-second mark, or he will receive a strike in the count. If the pitcher does not get in motion by the time the clock expires, a ball will be called. This is way too short in my opinion. Most pitchers take longer than that to get through their pitches.
These rules will not have an effect on the Royals this year, but they will affect the minor league teams. The rules are being tested in minor leagues to see how they work and could make their way to the MLB. The pace of play rules will speed up the game but will not make the game better. These rules are not going fix pace of play but for now, it’s what the professionals are going with.
What do you think? Will these rules help? Are there better rules that will pace of play? Is pace of play an issue? Let us know below or on social media.