MLBits: Rules Changes Official, AL Central Shakeup, Burnes K’s 14, Weekend Reading, More

MLB is voting on new rule changes that will be implemented in 2023, and we all know how much people like change, so these should be received well by everyone …

Rules Changes Coming in 2023

Things will look and feel a little different in 2023, with a few long-discussed rule changes coming into effect, including the pitch clock, a ban on defensive shifts, and larger bases.

The pitch clock will require pitchers to begin their throwing motion within 20 seconds with runners on base and 15 seconds with the bases empty. The shift ban will force teams to play with four infielders on the infield dirt and two on each side of second base. The increased bases will now be 18 inches square rather than 15 inches.

There is a bevy of specific details to the pitch clock and shift ban rules that Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich have broken down for you in their latest story at The Athletic:

The vote, by the way, was not unanimous:

It sounds like the players were not fundamentally opposed to the shift restrictions and the use of a pitch clock, but they wanted the actual shape of the rules to look a little different.

AL Central Shakeup

On August 29, the Guardians led the White Sox by six games, and I figured that a sweep at home at the hands of the Diamondbacks was the final nail in the coffin for the White Sox. But, the roller coaster ride continues after the White Sox won seven of their last 10, including a 14-2 win over the Oakland A’s last night.

Yoán Moncada went 5-for-6 with two home runs, a double, and five RBIs. Elvis Andrus, Eloy Jiménez, and Romy Gonzalez all homered as well. Dylan Cease notched his 200th strikeout of the season, the second straight season in which he’s eclipsed that plateau. Cease fired off six scoreless with nine strikeouts. It was a glimpse into what we thought this roster was capable of all along.

The Twins salvaged a win in their series with the Yankees thanks to a go-ahead home run by Carlos Correa in the eighth inning. Cleveland was idle on Thursday, making things pretty interesting in baseball’s goofiest division. The Twins and White Sox trail the Guardians by 1.5 games entering play today, and the Guardians and Twins have a weekend series kicking off tonight. The White Sox have three more with the laughable A’s this weekend, so a shakeup in the central might be coming this weekend.

If the Twins sweep the Guardians and the White Sox sweep the A’s, Minnesota and Chicago would be tied for first, with Cleveland trailing by a game and a half. If Cleveland sweeps Minnesota and Chicago sweeps the A’s, Cleveland gains three games on Minnesota, pushing them almost five back, but stays just a game and a half ahead of the White Sox. If Minnesota took two of three, and the White Sox swept Oakland, the White Sox would leapfrog the Twins and Guardians.

There are plenty more variations of how this weekend could shake out, and all of them involve a shakeup. The least entertaining division in baseball this season might be the most fun to monitor this weekend.

Corbin Burnes Strikes Out 14

The Brewers’ playoff hopes were on life support after a 2-5 road trip to Arizona and Colorado. St. Louis has run away with the NL Central at this point, leading the Brewers by eight games. Milwaukee needed someone to step up on Thursday, and Corbin Burnes did it.

Burnes struck out 14 Giants hitters in eight innings while allowing just one run on a Mike Yastrzemski double that scored LaMonte Wade.

Burnes’ gem on in the early game of a double-dip with the Giants was the perfect way to start a closing kick in which Milwaukee plays 20 of its 26 remaining games at home. Devin Williams slammed the door on the Giants with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to give the Brewers a 2-1 win in game one.

The Brewers cobbled together nine innings of two-run ball from six pitchers in game two of the twin bill and some offense from the bottom of the order as they squeaked out a 4-2 win over San Francisco in the nightcap. The Brewers bullpen turned in seven innings behind starter Freddy Peralta who went two in that victory.

With the Phillies losing on Thursday, the Brewers were able to gain a game and a half in the NL Wild Card race and are two and a half behind Philly for the final spot. The Brewers welcome the Reds to town today, and the Phillies start a series with the Nationals this weekend.

Odds and Ends

  • Julio Rodríguez continues to add to his Rookie of the Year candidacy:
  • Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright need to make just one more start to have the most starts by battery mates in MLB history.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers have a shot a becoming the first team to clinch their division this season if they can sweep the Padres. But, they’ll have to deal with Juan Soto, who will be back in action after missing a few days with a shoulder contusion.
  • A couple of must-reads for the weekend; Ken Rosenthal on Bo Bichette’s mental change that helped turn his season around:
  • Sam Blum takes us through a sad tale with former MLB player Scott Spiezio, who lost it all after being a World Series hero for the Angels 20 years ago:
  • Finally, Jayson Stark’s latest Weird & Wild column:
  • Have a great weekend!
  • written by

    Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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