MLB News: Joe Torre Details Expansion Of Instant Replay
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

When instant replay was introduced into Major League Baseball back in August 2008, some were skeptical as to whether or not its benefits would offset the in-game delay(s) that would be associated with it.

The use of replay was limited upon first being implemented under former MLB commissioner Bud Selig. It was expanded in 2014, allowing reviews for ground-rule doubles, fair or foul ball calls and if a catch was made or the ball simply being trapped.

Also in 2014, managers were granted one challenge per game, which they could retain if their first challenged call was successful. However, a manager can’t have more than two challenges per game.

By most accounts, the replay system has been a success as it’s improved the accuracy of calls made with minimal adverse effects.

However, that’s not to say instant replay has been perfect or is being utilized to its full potential.

Some of that is changing for the 2016 season as Torre announced the system will expand to regulate plays with fan interference and placing runners on base, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press:

Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, called the changes “a couple of little tweaks.” Under the new regulations, video review can be used on overthrows into the seats and on fan interference. “We’re going to make that reviewable for the purpose of placing runners,” he said Thursday after the owners’ meeting.

One change that won’t be made however, is using replay to overturn out calls where runners slide into a base and briefly come off it while still being tagged:

Torre said there will not be any change to video review to account for more runners being called out on slides when they pop up off a base as fielders keep tags on them. “If a picture shows you that he’s got his glove on him and he is off the base, you can’t ignore that,” he said.

Replay wasn’t kind to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season as 19 of their 44 challenged plays were overturned. They were also hurt by some confusion associated with neighborhood play on multiple occasions.

Another talking point this offseason has also been adding the designated hitter to the National League, and a rule change for slides into second base. A change with the DH would not be able to take place until a new collective bargaining is in place, which will be the case for 2017.