There won’t be a pitch clock in 2018. Instead, MLB announced a set of pace of play rules designed to cut back on dead time in between play.
First and foremost, teams will be limited to six mound visits per nine-inning game, with one additional visit added on for extra innings. The league is defining a mound visit as a either a coach/manager visit or a visit by a player that requires either moving from position. Catcher visits and shortstop visits to the mound are considered visits. There are exceptions and special circumstances that are sure to be exploited. For instance, a catcher can request to visit the mound to clarify cross-ups.
It’s not clear where the visits will be counted. They could be an addition to any scoreboard. The Rockies’ new board, we can be sure, will have plenty of room to accommodate the additional information.
The tracking may be unnecessary though. Joel Sherman wrote on Twitter that there’s no penalty for extra visits. I can see that playing out in two ways. One, the opposing manager will object to the visit, which will delay the game in a different way and give the opposing team the leeway to meet with the pitcher anyhow. Two, the other team doesn’t object because they may need an extra visit in the next inning.
There are additional new rules for the time between inning breaks, but the mound visit regulations will be the most substantial changes. Ultimately, this seems like a less effective, less enforceable, and more complicated path toward addressing pace of play than a pitch clock would be. And, unlike the pitch clock, this hasn’t been tested in the minor leagues yet.
What do you think of the new pace of play rules?
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Don’t like them
Don’t change anthing
Change something else