Major League Baseball recently released details behind their three-year agreement with the Atlantic League that will see a plethora of new rule changes implemented during the 2019 Atlantic Championship League Season.
Among the many adaptions include robot umpires calling balls and strikes, restricted mound visits, mound height adjustments and the banning of infield shifts.
Depending on the feedback received by players affected by the rule changes, the new additions could ultimately find their way to MLB in the years ahead.
That presumably wouldn’t sit well with Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill, who offered sharp criticism of the rule changes, via J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
“A joke,” he said. “It’s sad that they’re doing that, honestly. I’m definitely for change. Are there more efficient ways to play the game? Sure. I’m sure there are. But that’s not the way the game was designed, the way the game was structured.”
Hill’s biggest gripe comes with the increased mound distance and believes such change is unnecessary considering the long history of the sport:
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Hill said. “Two feet is a huge difference. The game’s been played that way for 100 years. I don’t understand why – I don’t know. I don’t know.”
It’s hardly surprising that Hill, who rejuvenated his career with the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks in 2015, is firmly against the implementation of any drastic rules changes to baseball.
He was among a few Dodgers players to recently speak out against the addition of a pitch clock in MLB.
Most of the rule changes that are set to take place in the Atlantic League this season are designed to improve pace of play and reduce the length of game times. Such has been a major focus of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred since taking office in 2015.