Good morning, baseball fans!
We’ve got some rule changes for you for the 2023 season. I know, I know. You didn’t deserve this first thing on a Saturday, but here we are anyway.
First up, the pitch clock will go into effect next season. Essentially there will be a limit of 30 seconds between batters, 15 seconds between pitches with no one on base, and 20 seconds between pitches with runners on. Pitchers who violate the timer will give up an automatic ball, batters who violate the timer will receive an automatic strike. It’s a bit more complex than I care to get into in a morning post, but you can read the MLB.com post about it here, it goes into the nitty gritty on the situational details and differences.
Next up, we have shift restrictions. This will require four infielders to have cleats in the dirt, two on either side of second base. And no getting cheeky by switching your better defender to the other side for match-ups either, they’ve got to stay on their side regardless. This rule is intended to increase the batting average of balls in play. Players seem to have mixed feelings about it, but as someone who has definitely been affected by the shift, San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson had this to say:
Unsurprisingly, Joc Pederson is all in favor of the shift rules for next year. “The shift sucks,” he said. More offense, more of a premium on good defensive 2B now.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 9, 2022
Finally, the bases will get bigger starting in 2023, going from 15 inches to 18. This is ostensibly to give players more room to maneuver plays between defenders and base runners, hopefully reducing the amount of collisions. MLB also seems hopeful that it will increase the number of stolen base attempts, and reduce the amount of oversliding.
What time do the Giants play this weekend?
The Giants finish up this three game series against the Chicago Cubs this weekend, with today’s game starting at 11:20 a.m. PT, and tomorrow’s starting at 5:08 p.m. PT, which is exactly what you want on getaway day, but who are we to argue logic and reason with the ESPN gods.