Pitch Clock Reduced as MLB Competition Committee Approves Several Rule Changes

Major League Baseball has announced a series of rule changes, many of which simply adjust changes that were just made prior to last season. The players union objected to the changes, but MLB holds a majority of the seats on the competition committee and was thus able to push them through anyway. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m feeling pretty exhausted and will not be delving into much beyond laying out a few of the amendments.

Here’s the quick and dirty, but you can view all the details in the tweet below if you’re so inclined:

  • pitch clock reduced from 20 to 18 seconds with runners on base
  • mound visits reduced from 5 to 4
  • pitcher who warms up at start of inning must face at least one batter
  • running lane widened to include dirt between foul line and infield grass.

My biggest problem with these changes, other than the running lane stuff, is that we didn’t even get that much time to see how the original adjustments would play out. MLB obviously disagrees and believes the gradual lengthening of game times over the course of last season was enough to spur additional measures to hasten pace of play.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark issued the below statement in the wake of the league’s announcement, though it doesn’t mean much since the players allowed themselves to be put in this position. By failing to secure at least equal voting power on the competition committee, they all but assured their interests wouldn’t be served.

This afternoon, Player Representatives voted against the 2024 rule changes proposed by the Commissioner’s Office. As they made clear in the Competition Committee, Players strongly feel that, following last season’s profound changes to the fundament rules of the game, immediate additional changes are unnecessary and offer no meaningful benefits to fans, Players, or the competition on the field. This season should be used to gather additional data and fully examine the health, safety, and injury impacts of reduced recovery time; that is where our focus will be.

You can bet this will be part of the next CBA negotiations ahead of the 2027 season, by which point lord only knows how many other points of contention will have been raised.

Back to top button