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FutureStarrThe Pitch Clock Has MLB's Pitching Coaches Working Overtime
MLB recently implemented the pitch clock, and teams are working to adjust players' tactics in order to accommodate this new timer. At spring training camps across MLB, pitchers are scrambling to make adjustments that will remain compliant with the regulations.
Pitching coaches are working to reduce their pitchers' lead leg times, so they can make the most of 15 seconds between pitches. Additionally, they're experimenting with how they hold runners since the new limits on pickoff attempts may result in an increase in stolen bases.
The clock, which is a staple in minor league ballparks across America, is one of several new rules MLB is implementing to increase game pace. They recognize that game lengths have increased 20 minutes over the past decade and want to keep their fanbase engaged while drawing in younger baseball enthusiasts.
The pitch clock, first implemented in Low-A several years ago, is now being tested out on major league pitchers as well. It provides them with 15 seconds with no runners on base and 20 seconds when there are, beginning when the pitcher has the ball back in his hand.
Pitching coaches in the minors aren't particularly delighted by the clock; they say it's forcing them to work overtime just to stay ahead of it.
Pitching a pitch requires full body motion, and pitchers need time for rest between pitches. Without these breaks, pitchers will become fatigued more quickly and may throw with less velocity.
Coaches are taking the new pitch clock in stride. Tim Flannery, who was famous for his unconventional third base coaching style with the San Francisco Giants early this decade, is among those in favor of it.
His band, Lunatic Fringe, is renowned for its upbeat performances and he understands that pace is essential both in music and baseball.
Some baseball coaches, particularly those in the minor leagues, have expressed worry that not enough time for pitchers to be alert could lead to more on-field sign stealing. To combat this issue, teams need to change how they relay signs to hitters.
The pitch clock can also present a challenge for the catcher, who only has five or nine seconds to prepare for their next pitch. That can make it difficult for them to slightly rub up the ball or ask the umpire for another.
As a result, some coaches are considering adding extra messages to PitchCom that could be programmed to remind hitters or catchers not to wait too long between pitches. It also may help if the pitching coach can communicate with their pitcher through PitchCom when there is an important pitch coming up.
Major League Baseball will introduce several rule changes in 2023, but none more significantly than the addition of a pitch clock. This measure will shorten games by 15 minutes and reduce time between pitches by eight seconds while adding excitement as players and coaches race against the clock for victory.
The MLB has already implemented time limits for warmup pitches, inning changes and limiting mound visits; now the pitch clock will be another tool to ensure games move along at a fair and exciting pace. Minor leagues have been using pitch clocks for some time now, but this season will mark the first year that Major Leaguers will utilize one as well.
Though some players have been penalized for speeding up their delivery, many pitchers are simply learning how to adjust to the new rules and maximize their time between pitches - particularly young players who have only been playing in the minors since this decade began.
This adjustment period is crucial as it gives players time to become acquainted with the new rule. In the minor leagues, they become used to pitching under a real timer; once in MLB they'll adjust and become comfortable using it effectively.
Furthermore, it will give players more time to develop a swing when the pitcher starts throwing. Some pitchers have an established routine between pitches which involves taking hacks or changing batting gloves; therefore, these players need to be extra cautious during their first month or so of spring training as they learn how to adjust to timers and get into a rhythm.
Eventually, the new pitch clock will become an accepted part of baseball and hitters will adjust without much thought. This means that future generations of hitters will possess a better understanding of how to maximize their time between pitches, potentially shifting the balance of competition in favor of strikers.
A pitch clock is a device that measures the time it takes for pitchers to throw a ball. It is one of many rule changes Major League Baseball has implemented to expedite play and it has proven beneficial for fans of the sport.
Aside from helping fans watch games in less time, there are three other reasons why this is a wise move for MLB:
1. It will cut down the length of the game
Baseball often gets labeled as being too long and boring due to pitchers who tend to drag out innings. A pitch clock would help expedite play and add an extra layer of excitement by speeding up play.
Pitchers often have long pregame rituals when they step on the mound, and a pitch clock forces them to reconsider those plans. Furthermore, it encourages them to work faster between pitches which in turn increases game speed.
The primary aim of adding a pitch clock was to speed up play, which has already been accomplished in Minor League Baseball. Last year, MiLB saw its average game time reduce by 25 minutes from 3 hours, 3 minutes in 2021 to 2:38 minutes in 2022.
The pitch clock will have an impact on hitters by forcing them to be ready for a pitch with eight seconds remaining on the clock, or else risk adding a strike to their count. Plus, they must remain alert in their batter's box with nine seconds left until pitch time.
The pitch clock is a major adjustment for all parties involved, but especially so for umpires who must manage many other matters throughout the course of a game and may be more prone to missing violations due to distraction.
Major League Baseball recently implemented the pitch clock, one of the most significant rules changes in recent history. It's designed to expedite games and add excitement by shortening pitch intervals.
Many fans have lamented the amount of time pitchers take between pitches, slowing down the game and giving players an unfair edge in the batter's box. But thanks to a new pitch clock system introduced this spring training season, this issue should become a thing of the past - and it appears to be working so far!
However, the rule has also been criticized as making pitchers feel rushed, which could affect their strategies and gamesmanship with hitters. It's a rule that needs to be worked out and players adjusted to, but it is an essential step in the process.
MLB predicts the rule will reduce game time by an average of 25 minutes per nine-inning game, making for a drastic change that will profoundly alter how fans experience baseball.
Under the new rule, pitchers must throw a pitch within 20 seconds when no baserunners are on base and 15 seconds if there are. Catchers must also notify pitcher of any runners on base before they enter the batter's box.
If a player fails to abide by the time violation rule, they'll be called for it. The first violation will only bring about a warning from the umpire; any subsequent ones will result in adding another ball to their count.
This is a major shift, as the new pitch clock rule will apply from start to finish of every game. It will alter how pitchers and hitters communicate, forcing them to consider how each pitch can contribute more than one run.
At first, there may be some confused reactions and goofy moments as people adjust to the pitch clock. But with time these rules will become second nature and become part of the game's DNA.
As the pitch clock becomes less of a novelty and more commonplace, it will eventually blend in with ads across the outfield wall. Eventually, it may even become as commonplace as night games - just another element of play.