The MLB will make slight changes to its new pitch clock rules, but will keep the most significant parts of its mandates, ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan wrote in a Wednesday article.
“On one hand, we are prepared to make adjustments based on input,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday, via ESPN. “On the other hand, we want to give it a chance to see how it plays out exactly over a period of adjustment in some regular-season games before we make any significant alterations.”
The league will “continue with the parameters of the pitch clock that players have been using all spring,” wrote Passan, including 15 seconds with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on base. Hitters must be “alert” in the batter's box with eight seconds remaining.
Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Miguel Rojas said the current version of the MLB pitch clock puts the batter at too big of a disadvantage earlier this month.
“I found myself the other day looking at the clock when the pitch was coming to me because the clock is right there and that creates a little bit of anxiety because the guy needs to throw the ball,” Rojas explained. “You see already some guys are using it to their advantage, you know?”
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw said he would have to get used to batters calling time out and remaining in a position where he can pitch quickly.
“Every time the hitter called time out, I held my position for 10 seconds and the results were not good,” Kershaw said. “It only happened twice and I don't know whether I like it or not.”
The MLB's Opening Day is set for March 30th. All 30 teams are scheduled to play over 15 games, making it the first time every team will take to the field on Opening Day since 1968, according to USA Today.