Unlike myself, apparently, there are people in this world that don’t enjoy watching four-hour baseball games.
Well, sorry I was brought up watching five-hour Red Sox/Yankee games. *insert shrugging girl emoji here*
Today, MLB announced a new pace of play rule for the upcoming 2018 season. Mound visits are now limited to six. FOR THE ENTIRE NINE INNING GAME. This new rule counts a pitching coach visiting the mound and a player talking with the pitcher as a mound visit.
This is the old mound visit rule:
A manager or coach can make one mound visit per pitcher per inning without needing to remove the pitcher from the game. If a manager or coach visits the same pitcher twice in one inning, the pitcher must be removed from the contest.
Mound visits are limited to 30 seconds, starting when the manager or coach has exited the dugout and been granted time by the umpire. (Deadspin)
The old rule only applied to the coaching staff, whether it’s the manager or pitching coach, but the new rule includes catchers running out to the mound when they can’t get on the same page.
This is going to require some crazy strategic planning. I wonder how it’ll affect pitchers and catchers who can’t get on the same page. Because would it be worth it to lose one of those six mound visits during the game?
One rule that still hasn’t made an appearance at the major league level is a pitch clock. Manfred’s been flirting with this at the major league level for a while. The minors currently have a pitch clock that’s used in between pitches in an attempt to speed up the game. Right now in the majors, there’s a clock used between innings, but for right now, they’re allergic to a pitch clock.
This mound visit rule is the second (ish) rule to be instituted to help with pace of play. Way back when this became a thing (2015), the league required players to keep one foot inside the batter’s box between pitches at all times. Or else get in trouble. I don’t think that’s been enforced. Ever. (If it has, someone let me know.)
The one actual rule that has stuck—against my strong dislike—is the elimination of the intentional walk. Click here to read my thoughts and yelling about this into the Internet.
So, we’ll have to see how this mound visit rule ends up working out. In reality, it’s only going to shave maybe a handful of minutes off a game’s total time.