MLB announces minor pace of play changes

John Tomase
February 20, 2015 - 5:31 am
Major League Baseball and the players association jointly announced changes aimed at speeding up pace of play on Friday. Fox Sports first reported the changes, which aren't wholesale and won't involve the pitch clock that tested in the Arizona Fall League. Among the changes:
  • The league plans to enforce the batter's box rule, which requires hitters to keep one foot in the box between pitches, unless an exception such as a foul ball, wild pitch, or call of time occurs.
  • Timers will count down 2:25 for a locally televised game and 2:45 for nationally televised ones during commercial breaks, with play expected to resume immediately.
  • Pitchers will only be allowed their traditional eight warmup pitches if they can complete them 30 seconds before the at-bat is scheduled to begin
  • Managers must now request replay challenges from the dugout, rather than standing on the field and waiting for a coach to signal that a play should be reviewed.
It's important to note that violations won't result in extra balls or strikes, but warnings and fines. "These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play," said commissioner Rob Manfred in a release. "The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter's box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game."