In a pretty clear preview of what MLB wants to implement for the 2023 season (it may now do so with 45 days notice, thanks to the new CBA), the league today announced a series of rules “experiments” for the upcoming minor league season.
They will look familiar to you:
MLB announces that the following “experimental” rules changes are coming to the minors this year. pic.twitter.com/wiZdGpxZbc
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) March 14, 2022
NEWS on the rules MLB is testing this season in the minors, including using robo-umps for a “challenge” system — each team gets three ball/strike challenges per game. Plus shift bans, pitch clocks, and bigger bases https://t.co/flyr5394q2
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) March 14, 2022
So it’s all the expected rules coming to almost all levels of the minors next year. This will give the league more data to evaluate, more players and coaches to discuss these rules with, and so on and so forth. If it all looks as hoped, then you should expect these rules to be in place for the 2023 MLB season (unfortunately not sooner … ).
One that is also coming that hasn’t been discussed as much is the pick-off limitation, which is also good stuff, in my view. Basically, you get two free pick-off attempts, but after that, your third pick-off attempt or step off gives the runner a free base if you don’t record an out on the play. In practical effect, that means you would rarely see a pitcher actually use two pick-off attempts, because after two unsuccessful attempts, the runner is going to able to take an even more aggressive lead. So this should not only improve pace of play with runners on base, but it could also lead to more stolen base attempts – that is a good thing!