MLB announces rule changes, including faster pitch clock, less mound visits, and more

Rob Manfred has struck again with rule changes in 2024. Numerous changes were just announced and the MLBPA is not too happy about it

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves
Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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A year after the introduction of the pitch clock, Major League Baseball is making some tweaks to the rules in 2024. Jesse Roger's breaks down all of the latest rule changes for the upcoming baseball season in his recent article on ESPN.

One of the most notable is the change in the pitch clock of 20 seconds with men on base, down to 18 seconds for the 2024 season. Commissioner Rob Manfred certainly has a goal of reducing game times, and this latest change only further proves that. Along with the pitch clock reduction, MLB announced the base path when running to first base has been widened to the cut of the infield grass in an attempt to cut down on interference calls.

Forcing pitchers to enter the game

One crazy thing among the rule changes is the decision to force any pitcher who is warming up (barring injury to said pitcher) at the start of an inning to be required to at least come in and face a minimum of one batter.

This is a crazy concept to grasp, considering the amount of pitchers who start warming up to pitch in the game, only to see their team have a big offensive inning and the pitcher's services no longer be needed. The craziest thing about this rule being created is the fact this scenario played out a total of 24 times across baseball last season. That amounted to a grand total of three minutes of dead time. Wow, just wow.

On top of that, MLB announced the number of mound visits will be reduced from five per game to a total of four. According to league data from 2023, a total of 98% of games played last season would NOT have exceeded the four mound visit threshold.

As you can imagine the players are not too happy about all of this. Executive Director of the MLBPA, Tony Clark, issued a statement discussing the decision to vote against these directed rule changes.

We've all been watching baseball a long time, and I'm not here to bash the rule changes because they did a lot of good in the 2023 season. However, the decision to quickly tinker with these rules after one season of data collected is certainly an interesting choice. I guess we will just have to see how it plays out.