The new pitch clock in Major League Baseball appears to have had the desired impact of speeding up the game throughout spring training. Games are notably shorter, and there is more action as both pitchers and hitters have reacted quickly to the rule change. Despite the early success, star New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer would like to see a significant change.
"I just wish MLB would give the umpires the ability to turn the clock off. You don't see any violations. As long as the hitters are playing at speed, we're all playing at pace, if the umpire wants to, let the umpire turn the clock off and we just play baseball."
– Max Scherzer pic.twitter.com/S4F58xRyEg
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 24, 2023
Scherzer said he believes that umpires should have the ability to turn the clock off as along as the game is moving quickly and both pitchers and hitters are following the spirt of the rule change.
“I just wish MLB would give the umpires the ability to turn the clock off,” Scherzer said. “You don’t see any violations. As long as the hitters are playing at speed, we’re all playing at pace, if the umpire wants to, let the umpire turn the clock off and we just play baseball.”
Under the new rule that has been implemented throughout spring training, pitchers have 15 seconds after receiving the baseball to throw a pitch when the bases are empty. If a runner or runners are on base, pitchers get 20 seconds to deliver the ball to home plate. Hitters must be prepared to hit by the time there are 8 seconds left on the countdown clock.
Spring training games averaged 3:01 in 2022, and that time was reduced to 2:36 per game throughout an early sample of games. In addition to quicker games, there was more run production, increased batting averages and more stolen bases.
Max Scherzer’s request would remove some level of pressure on pitchers and hitters, but it might result in longer games and lesser run production.