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MLB: MAR 27 Spring Training - Dodgers at Angels

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Hey batter, batter! The 162-game race to postseason begins! Major League Baseball is changing the way America’s pastime is played. Accordingly, let’s look at the new MLB rules.

Opening Day for the 2023 season is March 30, with all 30 teams scheduled to play. Barring postponement, it will be the first time since 1968 that every MLB team opens on the same day.

Los Angeles Angels v Chicago Cubs minor leaguers

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The game is “being enhanced”. MLB has been testing new rules in the minors and the new regulations have now been called up for the show. Take me out to the ballgame.

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers minor leaguers

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• 15 seconds with bases empty; 20 seconds with runners on

• Hitter gets 1 timeout per plate appearance; must be in batter’s box with 8 seconds left

• Pitchers get two disengagements (pickoff attempts or step-offs) per batter; violations are a balk

• Limits on pickoff attempts led to 26% increase in stolen base attempts in Minors

• Pitch timer helped reduce game length by 25 minutes in Minors in ‘22

Angels host Dodgers for preseason baseball Freeway Series between Southern California teams on Tuesday night, Mar. 28, 2023.

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• Two infielders must be positioned on either side of 2B when pitch is released

• All four infielders must have both feet within the infield when pitcher is on rubber

• Shift restrictions increased batting average and decreased strikeouts in Minors while giving players more opportunity to show off their athleticism

Arizona Diamondbacks v Cincinnati Reds

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• 1B, 2B and 3B increased from 15” square to 18” square

• Bigger bases expected to have positive impact on player safety

• Distance reduced by 3″ from home to 1st and home to 3rd, reduced by 4.5″ from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd

• Larger bases reduced injury events near the bases by more than 13% in the Minors in 2022

If you’re not fan of the new rules, you can take solace in knowing the ABS or Automated Ball/Strike Sytem is not in place yet. Although, this umpire might need a rest…