MLB Rule Changes


The 2023 MLB season has many new rules to improve the game. The new rules are made to speed up the game and make the game more exciting. The rules include the elimination of the shift, a new pitch clock, bigger bases and restrictions on stoppages and disengagements. Some of the rules were tested out in the minor leagues, and they were very effective.

One of the new rules is the elimination of the shift. The rule states: “at the time a pitch is thrown, all four infielders are required to be on the infield dirt (or infield grass) with two on each side of second base.” This rule is used to keep infielders from playing in the outfield and taking away hits from the batters. I like this rule because it makes the game more exciting. It gives the hitters more space to hit the ball and is resulting in more hits.

Another rule is the brand new pitch clock. Baseball is one of the only sports without a clock, and they have added one for the first time. “Pitchers will have 15 seconds to throw a pitch with the bases empty and 20 seconds with a runner on base. Hitters will need to be in the batter’s box with eight seconds on the pitch clock,” expresses the rule. If the pitcher does not throw the pitch by the end of the clock, he will be given an automatic ball. If the batter is not ready, he will be given an automatic strike. 

This rule was made to speed up the game. The minor leagues tried this rule out in 2022, and it shaved about 20 minutes off the games. I like the pitch clock because it speeds up the game. Before, the game was slow and took a long time in between pitches. The pitch clock also stops hitters from taking a long time in between pitches to get ready.

The MLB also enlarged the bases from 15 inches to 18 inches. This change was made to increase stolen base attempts. I like this rule because it makes the game more interesting. Baseball is a game of inches and with the bases getting bigger, it cuts down the distance in between the bases. I think this will benefit the players that steal lots of bases because I think they will steal more. I think it will also allow players that don’t attempt a lot or get thrown out frequently to steal more bases.

Finally, the MLB added a rule about the amount of times you can call time or disengage from the mound. A disengagement is any time a pitcher picks off, steps off or any player calls time. Pitchers are allowed two disengagements during a plate appearance. The disengagement count resets after a runner advances in the same plate appearance. If a pitcher violates this rule he will be called for a balk, and the runner gets a free base. A batter can only call time once in an at-bat. This rule was made to speed up the game and help increase stolen base attempts. I like the rule because it keeps pitchers from picking off all the time, which will also shorten the game. The disengagement rule also allows runners to gain an advantage. If the pitcher has used up their disengagements then they can use that to help them steal a base.

The rules that were created for the 2023 MLB season were created to shorten the game and make the game more exciting.