Braves: Big Rule Changes Coming in 2023 Including Pitch Clock

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 15: Pitcher Justin Miller #60 of the Washington Nationals gets set to deliver a pitch as the pitch clock counts down against the New York Mets during the ninth inning of a spring training baseball game at First Data Field on March 15, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Nationals defeated the Mets 11-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 15: Pitcher Justin Miller #60 of the Washington Nationals gets set to deliver a pitch as the pitch clock counts down against the New York Mets during the ninth inning of a spring training baseball game at First Data Field on March 15, 2019 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Nationals defeated the Mets 11-3. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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On Friday Major League Baseball announced some big rule changes that are coming in 2023 that will affect the Atlanta Braves and others. 

The Atlanta Braves have dealt with changes over the year. Earlier this season they seemed to be affected the most by some possible changes to the baseball.

But the rule changes coming in 2023 are some of the most significant changes we’ve ever seen to the game at one time.

Those changes include a pitch clock, banning the shift, and larger bases.

All of these rules have been tested at the minor league level.

The pitch clock is seen by most to be a very positive change that will help speed up the action of the game.

There is a great thread here by a Triple-A broadcaster giving his thoughts on the pitch clock.

It will take time for players to adjust, but in the end, it will bring a better product that fans will enjoy. My only concern is if this will be implemented in the playoffs — I assume it will.

The last thing we need is a player reaching base or scoring because a pitcher didn’t throw a pitch in time — let’s hope that doesn’t happen and umpires use a little common sense in big spots.

Of the three rules coming next year, only the use of larger bases was voted in unanimously.

The hope with the larger bases is that it will prevent injuries and increase the number of stolen bases, which has proven true when used at the minor league level.

Banning defensive shifts is the most controversial of these rule changes. Shifting has become a huge strategy in the game.

This comes from an article by Bob Nightengale of USA Today explaining what the changes look like:

"The new rule requires all four infielders to be in front of the outfield grass when the pitch is thrown, with only two infielders on each side of second base, and banned from switching positions during an inning."

I’m sure there are teams right now trying to figure out ways to work around this rule.

And it’s not like shifting will completely go away, shifting has been in the game for a long time. When a big lefty comes to the plate, you’ll see a shortstop move closer to the second base bag.

The biggest change is you’ll no longer see a third baseman or shortstop shift to the second base side of the bag and stand out in short right field.

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We’ll see how that one plays outs, but the pitch clock and larger bases seem like good rule changes for fans as the game tries to get back to where it was 20 years ago when games were shorter and we saw more athletic plays from infielders on a nightly basis.