To increase play and speed up the pace of the game, Major League Baseball voted Friday (Sept. 9th) to implement a pitch clock and ban defensive shifts in 2023.
Voting was not unanimous. ESPN sources report that players voted against the pitch-clock and shift changes.
Six ownership representatives, four players and an umpire were on the league’s competition committee, which approved a pitch clock of 15 seconds when there are empty bases and 20 seconds when there are runners. The defensive alignment must include two fielders standing on both sides of the second base bag with both feet on the dirt, and there are no pick-offs and the base sizes have been increased.
Before 2022, rule changes were solely the responsibility of the league, which could implement on-field changes a year after advising players of the change. MLB and the MLB Players Association accelerated rule implementation to 45 days with the new collective bargaining agreement, which included the creation of the competition committee, which would include players.
Check out some of the biggest changes of the past that came to the MLB below!