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An inside look at how the new rules will work

February 15, 2023

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- We know how Major League Baseball’s new rules for 2023 look on paper. But how will they look in practice? The arrival of the pitch timer, restrictions on extreme infield shifts and bigger bases combine for the most significant alterations to MLB rules in decades, and that’s

On 1st full day with new rules, games 'better,' with 'more action'

February 25, 2023

Baseball’s new era arrived as many new eras do. With a lot of intrigue and a little awkwardness. With the excited embrace of some, the miffed objections of others and the ultimate conclusion that the game -- and the world -- will, indeed, go on. It’s Spring Training, so --

All of your questions about the new baseball rules, answered

February 6, 2023

The 2023 Major League Baseball season brings a wave of rules changes collectively aimed at improving the game’s pace of play and increasing action on the field. The arrival of the pitch timer, restrictions on defensive shifts and bigger bases makes for one of the more ambitious adaptations to the

Why this Spring Training will be an adjustment period 

February 23, 2023

This year, Spring Training will not just be about players showing up in the “best shape of their lives” and “getting their work in” and uttering all of our other favorite camp clichés. We are about to embark upon a spring exhibition season unlike any other in baseball’s history. Because

How the pitch timer can revive the stolen base

February 1, 2023

This story was originally published during the 2022 season, but we are resurfacing it in light of the announced rule changes for 2023.

No more shift could mean quite a few more hits for these batters

January 4, 2023

Earlier this winter, we dug into the upcoming positioning ban, attempting to use Statcast data to identify which hitters might benefit the most from the new rules. As we discussed at the time, it’s complicated -- mostly because teams can still position intelligently within the rules, and because we don’t

A behind-the-scenes look at how the pitch timer works

February 7, 2023

HOUSTON -- The slugger went deep, then the console went beep. As Central Missouri infielder John Prudhom crossed home plate Saturday after hitting a towering two-run home run in the first inning of a game at the Houston Winter Invitational at Minute Maid Park, Billy Cannon pressed the button that

Fast workers explain how to play nice with pitch timer

February 1, 2023

Nestor Cortes walked down the mound, received the throw back from his catcher and did what so many of his pitching heroes would do. He took a short stroll through the grass around the mound, thought about the next pitch and what he wanted to do with it, then climbed

MLB Network special breaks down 2023 rule changes

February 16, 2023

One of the most intriguing storylines heading into the 2023 MLB season is how the new rules being implemented will impact the game. With new infield shift restrictions, a pitch timer and larger bases among the changes this year, it will be exciting to watch the resulting effects. MLB Network

6 things I learned watching the pitch timer in action

February 1, 2023

This story was originally published earlier this season, but we are resurfacing it today in light of the announced rule changes for 2023.

A guide to rules changes in MLB (and sports) history

February 1, 2023

The changes coming to Major League Baseball in 2023 -- the pitch timer, defensive shift limits and bigger bases -- are significant. Merely reading about them creates a feeling of unfamiliarity. But are they unprecedented? Hardly.

What do managers think of new rules? Hear it in their own words

February 16, 2023

Baseball is back now, and that is always the best possible news at this time of year, with players on the field in Florida and Arizona. Here is even better news: The game is going to be better this season. It just is, because of three important changes that have

MLB issues response to PA statement on pitcher injuries

April 6, 2024

After the MLB Players Association suggested in a statement that the latest rules changes – specifically relating to the pitch timer – were to blame for the recent rash of pitching injuries, Major League Baseball responded with a statement of its own Saturday night. “This statement [from the MLBPA] ignores

Triple-A team slams the door -- with a successful ABS challenge

April 6, 2024

Grant Holmes hooked the breaking ball into the corner of the strike zone. The umpire didn’t think so. Sandy León, Holmes’ catcher with Triple-A Gwinnett, had faith. León used an Automated Ball-Strike (ABS) challenge, which showed the curveball touching the zone on the upper-outside edge. With a technological assist on

What to know about MLB's rule changes for 2024

March 27, 2024

With the pitch timer, defensive shift restrictions and bigger bases, the 2023 MLB season featured arguably the most ambitious series of rules changes since the dawn of the game’s Modern Era. This year’s changes? Much more subtle. But because these modifications will still impact what we’re watching on a daily

MLB provides new guidance to umps for base-blocking rule

February 14, 2024

In an effort to target egregious blocking of the bases by defenders, Major League Baseball has provided guidance to its umpires on an existing rule that targets obstruction of the runner’s path. Existing Rule 6.00(h) awards the base to the runner when the fielder is ruled to have impeded the

Widening of runner's lane to 1B among rule changes for '24

December 21, 2023

Major League Baseball is opening the express lane to first base by modifying what had been among its most confusing rules. The joint Competition Committee voted Thursday to approve a widening of the runner’s lane to include the dirt between the foul line and the infield grass. The committee also

Which postseason teams dominate the running game?

September 30, 2023

Stolen bases are back with a vengeance in 2023. MLB teams are stealing 41% more bases this season than they did in 2022. There have been more steals in 2023 than in any year since 1987. And teams have been successful over 80% of the time -- more than 4

12 lessons from the first season under new rules

September 28, 2023

One hundred years from now, when baseball historians ruminate on the 2023 season while dodging dust storms in their Mars colonies, we can guess what they are most likely to observe. With due respect to the great individual and team achievements we’ve witnessed and will yet witness this year, it’s

These 10 players are running wild in 2023

September 17, 2023

We're almost at the end of the 2023 regular season, and we can now say for sure: The stolen base is back. With the new rules encouraging base-stealing, a whole lot of players are checking off stolen-base milestones like they never have before. Let's take a look at the biggest

3,000 stolen bases recorded for 1st time since 2012

11 crazy facts about this year's rush of steals
@ssc627 and @AndrewSimonMLB
September 8, 2023

Catchers, look away. With Phillies second baseman Bryson Stott's steal in the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, Major League Baseball recorded its 3,000th stolen base of the season, and reaching that mark is a notable milestone. While not a first in and of itself, it's been a

These new-look Statcast player pages are art

September 1, 2023

Think of an MLB star's Baseball Savant page as the back of a Statcast baseball card. At the very top of that Baseball Savant page is a snapshot of how the player is performing in all of the key Statcast stats, powered by Google Cloud, and how he stacks up

Longest homers of '23 🌚💥

August 28, 2023

Stolen bases & rule changes

Here's who's benefited the most from pickoff limits according to Statcast, as of 10/3
August 18, 2023

The rookie catcher quietly fueling Giants' playoff push

August 17, 2023

Here’s the setup: In May, a middling team abruptly installs a top catching prospect into a starting role and, seemingly overnight, its season is transformed. In fact, the club starts to look like a contender. That sounds awfully familiar, but the script is a little different this time around. A