MLB introduces new rules this season

Logun Gutierrez, Staff Reporter

The 2023-2024 MLB season begins on March 30 and spring training has already begun. Spring training doesn’t usually mean much, but this year it has an even bigger meaning. New rules are being tested and the players are trying to get used to them.

For starters, the shift has been banned. Before, infielders were able to take different defensive positions in order to best get the batter out. Due to the new rule, infielders are required to be in the infield with two on each side of  second base. As soon as the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, the infielders are allowed to move.

A new pitch clock has been added with the main goal to speed the game up. Pitchers will have 15 seconds to throw a pitch with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on base. If the pitcher doesn’t throw a pitch before the clock runs out he will be charged with a ball and if the batter isn’t in the box in time, he will be charged with a strike. This also affects pickoffs. Pickoffs are considered a “disengagement” and now pitchers are only allowed two “disengagements” per plate appearance.

The bases have been made larger. They have grown from 15 inches to 18 inches. This newly increased size of the bases is aimed to reduce injuries and increase steal attempts.

A rule has also been put in place that changes when position players are allowed to come in and pitch. Position players are sent out to pitch when teams are losing and don’t want to waste another arm. The previous rule allowed position players to come in when down 6 runs and now it has been changed to down 10 runs.

Major League Baseball has been around for 147 years and it has been constantly evolving. This season is going to be interesting, even without the new rules.