When Cactus League and Grapefruit League games get under way in a couple weeks, you can expect to see the 20-second pitch clock in place for the pitchers. It is a necessary preparation step if there are going to be pitch clocks in the regular season.
Manfred said he is not committing to a pitch clock in the regular season at this point, but he can unilaterally implement it. He said he wants to come to an agreement with the players. Using it in spring training does not necessarily mean MLB will do so in the regular season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 17, 2019
Recall, although Commissioner Manfred can unilaterally impose a pitch clock this year, he would rather the players were on board. While negotiating that issue, though, the players attempted to bring in a whole host of other changes that the league was not prepared to seriously entertain at this time.
That is to say, it’s not at all clear if the players are going to be willing to negotiate on a pitch clock alone right now, and, if not whether Manfred will simply flip the switch when the regular season begins.
For now, we just know it’ll be there in Spring Training.