One of the most notable additions to 2019 Spring Training games has been the installation of a pitch clock, which is being ushered in and eventually enforced over parts of three phases.
The 20-second pitch timer is meant to speed up games — a longtime goal of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred — but it has not been positively received by most players. Los Angeles Dodgers left-handers Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill are among those that oppose a pitch clock.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes players will eventually adjust to the drastic change. But it turns out such may not be necessary until later down the road.
According to ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan, MLB is preparing to scrap the regular-season implementation of a pitch clock for another three years as part of a proposal to the MLBPA that will allow the league to make other rule changes:
Major League Baseball is prepared to scuttle the implementation of a pitch clock until at least 2022 as part of a wide-ranging proposal to the MLB Players Association that would include the ability to implement a three-batter-minimum rule for pitchers and roster-size changes in 2020, sources familiar with the plan told ESPN.
MLB is also proposing limitations on position-player usage as pitchers, getting rid of the waiver trading period, further cutting mound visits and potentially shortening inning breaks, sources said.
A compromise between both parties makes sense, given the extreme unpopularity that has accompanied the concept of a pitch clock in recent weeks.
Assuming the MLBPA agrees, Manfred will still have an opportunity to shorten game times by limiting mound visits and reducing the length of inning breaks.