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There will be pitch clocks in MLB spring training games

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... but not necessarily in the 2019 regular season.

MESA, AZ - MARCH 07:  Fans sit underneath the pace of play clock in center field during the spring training game between the Chicago Cubs and the Kansas City Royals at Sloan Park on March 7, 2016 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We knew pitch clocks were coming. Commissioner Rob Manfred hinted about them last year.

Now, pitch clocks are for real — and they are less than a week away!

I have long been in favor of a pitch clock. Baseball rules say a pitcher needs to deliver a pitch, with the bases empty, within 20 seconds. That will eliminate a large amount of the current trend of batter stepping out/pitcher stepping off. In general, about 58 percent of all plate appearances are with the bases empty. So... not all the stalling will go away, but much of it will. When the clocks were implemented in the minor leagues several years ago, game times dropped significantly, as much as 12 minutes in some leagues.

However, as of now, pitch clocks are not necessarily coming in the regular season:

I hope the players and management can come to an agreement on this; players should want this as much as owners do. When games are faster-paced, I think fielders are more ready behind pitchers. It could improve defenses as well as offenses.

Anyway, consider this a five-week test. I suspect that unless you are paying very close attention, after a short time you won’t even notice the clocks. Many pitchers who will be in spring games have already been accustomed to the clocks, since almost all minor leagues have used them since 2015.

I’m not a fan of a lot of the things Manfred has proposed to change baseball, but I’m all in favor of this one. Watch for it this weekend.

Poll

Pitch clocks...

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Love it! Bring it on!
    (122 votes)
  • 23%
    Hate it! Baseball shouldn’t be timed!
    (50 votes)
  • 19%
    Don’t care either way
    (42 votes)
214 votes total Vote Now