Major League Baseball is making some changes to the pitch clock before the season begins. These changes are at the suggestion from the players on the joint competition committee. The changes, though, may not even be noticed by anyone watching the game. Pitchers still only have 15 seconds if the bases are empty, and 20 seconds if someone is on, and batters must still be in the box and ready with 8 seconds on the clock.

The changes do give the umpire leeway in restarting, pausing, or even waving off the pitch clock in specific situations. If the PitchCom isn’t working properly and the umpires are alerted to this then the clock can be stopped (for a particular pitch – after that the players still must abide by the 15 or 20 second rule). In situations where there’s a playing equipment issue the umpire has the discretion to delay the start of the clock. When the clock begins is also now addressable by the umpires on plays where the pitcher has to leave the mound to cover or back up a base, or when a catcher ends the inning as the batter or as a base runner they may be able to get more than the 2 minutes and 30 seconds to “get ready” as long as they were making an effort to get ready in time before the start of the next half-inning.

Jeff Passan of ESPN has up an article with all of the new rules that will be in place, including one about bat boy and bat girl performance – if you can actually believe that one.

The World Baseball Classic is coming back in 2026

If you missed out on the World Baseball Classic this year, you really did miss out. The tournament was incredible from the very start. And last night it ended the the two best players in the world facing off against one another with everything on the line. Shohei Ohtani struck out Mike Trout, who was representing the tying run in the 9th inning, to end the game and claim the championship for Japan over the United States.

Shortly after the game ended it was announced that the World Baseball Classic would be returning in 2026. There were some who were concerned that injuries to Edwin Diaz and later to Jose Altuve may cause some debate as to whether or not the powers that be would keep the tournament going. That, of course, is silly. Players get injured in spring training every year. Some players get injured sneezing. Some players get hurt riding dirt bikes. Injuries are going to happen in all walks of life for professional athletes. It’s great to see that there was apparently little to no consideration about not moving forward with what has been great for the sport of baseball.

6 Responses

  1. Melvin

    I did watch that last AB. It was amazing. That was Ohtani’s only relief appearance if I’m not mistaken.

  2. Luke J

    The World Baseball Classic was an INCREDIBLE tournament this year. The talent level was off the charts. The games were exciting. The fan bases and game atmospheres were electric. I can’t wait to see the 2026 iteration. This is like the World Cup type of tournament and will continue to grow in popularity.

  3. JayTheRed

    Glad the WBC is coming back I really enjoyed watching some of the games. Stinks the US lost to Japan but hey give the Japanese players some credit they did a nice job.

    I am not a fan of the pitch clock so far. Rushing a pitcher to make pitches, just doesn’t seem like a good idea from an injury potential standpoint. They could just give the umpire the ability to give a warning to the pitchers or batters for that matter if they are piddling around too much. Then if they continue to delay the game then penalize them. A specific time for each thing is not necessary in baseball.

    • Luke J

      I’m a HUGE fan of the new rules. I’ve watched every Reds spring training game that’s been televised. Games are now like I remember them in the 80s. Baseball is being played like it used to be. And there weren’t more injury problems then. It’s been a long time since watching games was this compelling. I hope they never go back.

  4. 2020ball

    Just waiting now to see a rally or regular season game end on a batter violation, very skeptical of these rules. I’m fine with a timer to keep players from going around scratching their you-know-whats, but shortening games is not what I want to see as a fan at all, especially if I go to attend one. I love pitchers with a fast pace so I’ll wait to see how it feels before I fully judge.

    • Dan

      If you love pitchers with a fast pace – which I do too – then I would think you should love these new rules!

      If they work as planned (and I think so far they have been), it’s not removing any baseball. It’s just shortening some of the dead times BETWEEN the pitches.

      I’ll keep an open mind, but so far, I’m a big fan of the rule changes. (And also very happy that they are taking proactive steps to keep players from trying to “game” the new rules.)