According to MLB: pitchers began their deliveries with an average…

MLB to institute rule changes for 2024 including changed to the pitch clock and a wider runner’s lane to first.
Atlanta Braves v Milwaukee Brewers

Major League Baseball announced that a number of new rules will go into effect for the 2024 season after the league’s Competition Committee voted to enact them earlier today.

After a largely successful first season for Major League Baseball’s sweeping rule changes, the league announced several tweaks for 2024, focusing on further improving the pace of play.

In 2023, nine-inning games averaged 2 hours and 39 minutes, down nearly 25 minutes from 2022 and the shortest since 1985 (2:40).

Some of the changes for 2024, voted on by the Competition Committee, will include shortening the pitch clock with runners on base and decreasing the number of mound visits.

Another change will be a reduction of the time between pitches with runners on base. This time will be reduced to 18 seconds to 20 seconds. Pitchers will still be able to step off to reset the pitch click twice per batter at bat without a penalty. There is no change to the clock if no runners are on base.

Pitch clock tweak

The time between pitches with runners on base is now 18 seconds, down from 20. With the bases empty, the pitch clock remains 15 seconds.

According to MLB, “pitchers began their deliveries with an average of 7.3 seconds remaining on the 20-second timer in 2023.”

Wider runner’s lane

The runner’s lane towards first base will now include the space between the foul line and the infield grass. That adds 18 to 24 inches to the runner’s lane, which MLB explains “allows batters to take a more direct path to first base while retaining protection from interference.”

The Chairman of the Competition Committee and Chairman of the Seattle Mariners, John Stanton, also released a prepared statement on the new rules, saying:

“From its inception, the joint Competition Committee’s constructive conversations between players, umpires and owners have produced rules that significantly improved the game for fans. These modifications will improve on last year’s work by the Competition Committee, which was a resounding success with our fans and for the sport. I want to thank the Commissioner’s Office, the Players Association and the Major League Umpires for their dedication to the greatest game ever invented.”

The committee did vote to table a vote on a rule change would have limited a fielder’s ability to block bases other than home plate.

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