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Big Rules Changes Coming to Minor League Baseball: Killing the Shift, Pitch Clock, Electronic Zone, More

Chicago Cubs

With MLB now fully operating the minor leagues, with MLB having a strong interest in improving the entertainment value of its product (i.e., more action on the field), and with Theo Epstein now consulting with MLB on these issues … it didn’t take long for rules changes to come.

For now, MLB is terming these “experimental rules” changes in the minor leagues, but you can see the writing on the wall. This is a test for implementation in MLB eventually. And it’s all the big ones: killing the shift, pitch clock, electronic strike zone, pick-off limitations, and larger bases. The changes will be implemented at different levels – with adjustments possible throughout the season – and all are designed to increase and improve the actual action on the field.

I am very on board with at least trying these things out in the minors, and seeing what you can learn:

As Epstein put it in the release:

To my quick look, every single one of the new experimental minor league rules is good. Buuuuut just in case they aren’t, it’s smart that they’re being tried out in a game environment in the minors to see how it actually plays out. Baseball is doing a progressive, smart thing! Huzzah!

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.