“Pitch Clock” and Associated Rules

While we’re busy getting posts ready for next week, please take another minute and familiarize yourself with the details of the new “pace of play” rules and the timers and clocks.

It’s going to add another “game within the game” which might be somewhat interesting, but it wholly unnecessary this side of a Yankees-RedSox Sunday Night Baseball ESPN game.  It will be somewhat interesting to observe, but the sheer abomination of it all will temper that interest.  Here’s the official stuff, from the MiLB page.  Read and discuss:

Aimed at improving the pace of play in games, Minor League Baseball has introduced ‘Pace of Play’ rules and regulations for all 2015 games at the Triple-A and Double-A levels.

These procedures, created in partnership with Major League Baseball, will monitor the time taken between innings and pitches, and will limit the amount of time allowed during pitching changes. Umpires will continue to enforce rules prohibiting batters from leaving the batter’s box between pitches.

Timers have been installed at all Triple-A and Double-A parks, including Coca-Cola Field, in plain view of umpires, players and fans to monitor the pace of play and determine when violations occur. The month of April will serve as a grace period, with players receiving warnings for infractions. Beginning May 1, rules will be enforced as written. The regulations and penalties for non-compliance are listed below.

Between Inning Breaks

-Inning breaks will be two minutes, 25 seconds in duration. The first batter of an inning is encouraged to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with 20 seconds left on the inning break timer. The pitcher must begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position at any point within the last 20 seconds of the 2:25 break.

-Beginning May 1, should the pitcher fail to begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position in the last 20 seconds of the inning break, the batter will begin the at-bat with a 1-0 count.

-Beginning May 1, should the batter fail to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with five or more seconds remaining on the inning break timer, the batter will begin the at-bat with a 0-1 count.
-Umpires will have the authority to grant extra time between innings should special circumstances arise.

-The inning break timer will begin with the final out of the previous half-inning. For inning breaks during which God Bless America or any patriotic song is played in which all action in the ballpark stops (similar to the national anthem), the timer will begin at the conclusion of the song. s.

Pitching Changes

-The pitching change timer shall begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens) to enter the game.
-In the event a pitching change occurs during an inning break, the timer shall reset as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens).

-Umpires have the authority to reset the timer at their discretion.

-Beginning May 1, should the pitcher fail to begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position in the last 20 seconds of the pitching change break, the batter will begin the at-bat with a 1-0 count.

-Beginning May 1, should the batter fail to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with five or more seconds remaining on the pitching change timer, the batter will begin the at-bat with a 0-1 count.

20-Second Pitch Timer

-Pitchers will be allowed 20 seconds to begin their wind-up or the motion to come to the set position.

-The pitcher does not necessarily have to release the ball within 20 seconds, but must begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position to comply with the 20-second rule.

-For the first pitch of an at-bat, the timer shall start when the pitcher has possession of the ball in the dirt circle surrounding the pitcher’s rubber, and the batter is in the dirt circle surrounding home plate.

-The timer will stop as soon as the pitcher begins his wind-up, or begins the motion to come to the set position.

-If the pitcher feints a pick off or steps off the rubber with runners on base, the timer shall reset and start again immediately.

-Umpires have the authority to stop the 20-second timer and order a reset.

-Following any event (e.g., pick-off play) that permits the batter to leave the batter’s box, the timer shall start when the pitcher has possession of the ball in the dirt circle surrounding the pitcher’s rubber, and the batter is in the dirt circle surrounding home plate.

-Following an umpire’s call of “time” or if the ball becomes dead and the batter remains at-bat, the timer shall start when the pitcher is on the pitcher’s plate and the batter is in the batter’s box, alert to the pitcher.

Beginning May 1, should the pitcher fail to begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position in 20 seconds, a ball will be awarded to the count on the batter.

See you at the park,

@Kram209



Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level

Tags: , , ,

8 replies

  1. I guess my first question would be… can I make it to the rest room and back in under 2:00 minutes?

  2. I gave up on that premise early in the Pigs’ existence after learning to take my Walkman with me to games.

    Now I time those visits to when the opposing team is batting, and if sparkling plays are made in the field by our boys, I’ll find them (a lot more reliably, thx SECTV) on the MiLB site.

  3. Has it ever been verified who’s operating these clocks? THIS may explain your higher rates for tickets and car park… they’ve gotta pay for this additional new official.

    • Yeah, I mean that’s a good point. Not just the operation of the clocks, but installation, acquisition, electrician, maintenance–all things that cost money–and somewhat of an unfunded mandate I’m sure.

  4. Breaking news (super glue not included) :

    Minor League Baseball has just passed another new rule — from now on, in order to improve pace and, thus, definitely improve quality, all blog posts concerning AA or AAA teams must be concise enough for the average person to be able to read and comprehend within 20 seconds.

    MiLB has also decreed that failure to comply will not be an option.

  5. Is Cotton Eyed Joe considered a patriotic song?

  6. BTW, Kurt Landes has said that all of the between-innings “productions” fit within the time limit, including Cotton Eye Joe. We’ll see, I guess.

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