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Elephant Rumblings: MLB approves 2024 rule changes

MLB news roundup

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

Yesterday, MLB announced a slate of rule changes that will be effective in 2024. The most significant among these changes is probably a reduction of time between pitches from 20 to 18 seconds when runners are on base.

MLB proposed this and other Pace of Play regulation changes to fine tune the rules enacted this year after game times increased slightly during the course of the 2023 season—though they were still more than 20 minutes shorter on average compared to 2022. Anthony Franco at MLB Trade Rumors gave a rundown of the coming changes.

The shorter pitch clock allowance with runners on appears to have been a fairly low-hanging fruit, as pitchers began deliveries with an average of 7.3 seconds remaining with one or more bases occupied, and far fewer clock violations occurred than when the bases were empty.

Other Pace of Play changes include slightly less time allowed on the inning break Clock for pitching changes, a reduction of allowed mound visits from five to four, a faster start of the pitch clock after dead balls when pitchers circumvent the mound, and a one-batter minimum for pitchers who warm up.

The Runner’s Lane will also be widened next season to allow a more direct path between bases with less risk of interference.

The changes were approved by the MLB Competition Committee, which includes six owners, four players, and one umpire. MLBPA director Tony Clark stated that the players on the committee voted against the changes, and that more time should be spent examining the impacts of the changes implemented in 2023 before further refinements are made.

Have a wonderful weekend, AN.

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