MLB mulling pitch clock tweak after just one year with new rules, per report


Major League Baseball’s competition committee is considering an adjustment to the pitch clock when runners are on base, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The proposed change would leave pitchers with 18 seconds between pitches whenever someone is on base, a reduction of two seconds and a push closer to the 15 seconds pitchers are afforded between pitches with the bases empty.
Per Passan, the motivation is to “reverse a late-season trend that saw the average time of game increase.” As part of the proposal, teams would also have their mound visits reduced from five to four per game.
The competition committee is formed by six members from teams, four players, and an umpire. The players are said to be “discussing the proposal and expect to go back to the committee with suggestions on potential adjustments.”
Baseball Reference’s data shows that the average game did grow longer as the season burned on. As you can see below, the first full month of the season saw games take on average two hours and 36 minutes. The last full month saw games last an additional eight minutes.
Month Average time of game April 2 hours, 36 minutes May 2 hours, 37 minutes June 2 hours, 39 minutes July 2 hours, 40 minutes August 2 hours, 41 minutes September 2 hours, 44 minutes
It’s worth noting that September’s time of game still represented an appreciable reduction from the 2022 average game, which lasted more than three hours. Indeed, September’s average time of game would’ve represented the shortest mark since at least 1998, again per Baseball Reference’s data.
The 2023 season marked the first time MLB had used the pitch clock. Clearly, it may not be the last time that the league discusses tweaks to the mechanism.


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