MLB To Test Pace Of Game Tactics In Arizona Fall League

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Along the way to clinching their second consecutive NL West division title, the Los Angeles Dodgers ruffled some feathers in Major League Baseball’s front office.

The Dodgers had their bubble machine put on a one-game suspension for what Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, Joe Torre, later described as not sitting right with him, and the team was warned for their slow-moving demeanor. Accelerating the pace of a game has been a recent focal point with commissioner Bud Selig establishing a pace of game committee in September.

According to an AP report on ESPN, the committee will implement the following rules in the Arizona Fall League as a means to test out methods that will speed up games:

  • Batter’s box rule: Hitter required to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout at-bat unless there is foul ball, wild pitch or passed ball — or if a pitch forces him out or the umpire grants “time.”
  • No-pitch intentional walks
  • 20-second rule: 20-second clock will be posted in each dugout, behind home plate and in outfield to prevent pitchers from taking too much time in games at Salt River Fields only.
  • 2:05 inning-break clock: Maximum time allowed between innings, and batters must be in box at 1:45 mark or umpire can call automatic strike. If pitcher throws pitch after 2:05, umpire may call ball.
  • 2:30 pitching-change-break clock:Maximum amount of time allowed for pitching change.
  • Three “timeout” limit: Teams limited to three trips to the mound by managers, coaches and catchers during game, except pitching changes.

Jamey Wright was one Dodger player who was outspoken over the general length of baseball games and said fans of the sport take no issue with it. The AFL begins Oct. 7 and ends Nov. 15, and should the new rules be determined a success, it’s not beyond reason to expect some changes for the 2015 MLB season.

Included on the Dodgers’ AFL team are Corey Seager, Scott Schebler and Darnell Sweeney.

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