MLB announces pace of play initiatives for 2018 season

(Photo courtesy of MLB Facebook)

Major League Baseball today announced rule changes for the 2018 championship season designed to improve the pace of play. After receiving substantial input from the Major League Baseball Players Association and Club personnel, MLB’s Competition and Playing Rules Committees recommended that Commissioner Rob Manfred proceed with a rule change limiting the number of mound visits in a game and a rule designed to reduce the time required for inning breaks and pitching changes. The Commissioner has decided to defer the implementation of a pitch timer and a between-batter timer in 2018 in order to provide players with an opportunity to speed up the game without the use of those timers.

Commissioner Manfred said: “I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the Players Association to take concrete steps to address pace of play with the cooperation of players. My strong preference is to continue to have ongoing dialogue with players on this topic to find mutually acceptable solutions.”

The Commissioner’s Office also is taking steps to expedite the replay review process and to deter sign-stealing through the use of electronic equipment. MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to meet during the 2018 championship season to continue to discuss pace of play.