According to a report tonight by Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors, pitch clocks will be implemented as early as next season in Double and Triple-A stadiums across the country. In addition to this groundbreaking development, it was reported that there will be pitching change limits and an “inning break.”
Most pitchers have only expressed outrage regarding this issue, as in the Arizona Fall League, which acted as the test for pitch clocks, many pitchers felt uncomfortable seeing a red-numbered countdown. It’s only natural for a pitcher to throw carelessly when they see a count down all the way from 4-3-2-(throws in desperation)-ball. Some feel a change like this would make baseball more like basketball.
For batters, this rule could present a major change, as they may be forced to have one foot in the box at all times. Good thing Skip Schumaker and David Ortiz aren’t in the minors anymore. If they are at fault in the pitch clock running out, a strike can be called. Since none of these reports are confirmed yet, be careful when assuming the world is coming to an end for traditional play of baseball, but change has been creeping in for years now, so this would not be a shocker if true.
In the Arizona Fall League, a game took a mere two hours and 14 minutes, versus a three-hour game on average for the major leagues. Baseball’s new commissioner, Rob Manfred, could be defined by how he handles the pace of the game in the future, and judging by initial fan and player reaction, the perception of a new age in baseball may not be off to a good start. As Selig is riding off into the sunset, the owners had a meeting this week, discussing the pace of play.
For now, until these reports are confirmed, here’s an initial reaction by former pitcher, now pitching coach, Michael Schlact. His answer is simple, but speaks for many feeling the same way right about now.
— Michael Schlact (@michael_schlact) January 15, 2015