With the recent implementations of instant replay and Rule 7.13, Major League Baseball has shown a willingness to adapt for competitive and safety reasons.
Much was made of commissioner Bud Selig establishing a pace of game committee that tested various rules in the Arizona Fall League. Among them was the pitch clock, which is expected to be used in the Minors next season but not at the Major-League level.
MLB however may still see new rules in 2015 with one of them requiring hitters to keep one foot in the batter’s box between pitches, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi:
A rule mandating that hitters keep one foot in the batter’s box between pitches, with exceptions that include foul balls, wild pitches, and timeouts being granted.
Morosi also reports a significant change could come with how baserunners slide into second base:
A rule stipulating that runners must slide directly into second base on double plays, as opposed to deviating from their paths with a takeout slide.
Currently, so long as the baserunner is within reach with their hand or foot of second base during their slide, they are permitted to relatively wide off the line in an attempt to break up a double play. While the batter’s box rule would require players to adjust their routines, a new baserunning policy would have a larger impact on the game.
Somewhat difficult double plays may become more routine if an infielder gets the ball early enough and is able to step wide of second base, out of the runner’s reach, to complete the turn.
In order for any new rules to be adopted, the commissioner’s office, teams, and unions for MLB players and umpires would all need to provide their approval.