Major League Baseball announced Friday how pitch clocks will work in Spring Training games. The pitch clock will not be used for the first pitch to each batter. Starting with the second pitch the clock will start when the pitcher receives the previous pitch back from the catcher.
The batter is required to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with at least five seconds remaining on the pitch clock. The pitcher has to begin his windup or start his motion to come to a set position before the clock expires.
Use of the pitch clock will have multiple conditions:
- The clock will reset if the pitcher steps off the rubber or attempts a pickoff
- The clock is not used on the first pitch to a batter or after a foul ball, a mound visit or an umpire’s timeout
- The clock won’t start until the pitcher is in the dirt circle around the mound and the catcher is in the catcher’s box
Umpires were told not to enforce the pitch clock this weekend in the first games of Spring Training. Early next week umpires will notify pitchers and batters who violate the rules as well as tell the coaching staff of any infractions between innings. Later in Spring Training umpires will begin assessing ball or strike penalties for violations.
Ned Yost, in an interview with Soren Petro of SportsRadio 810 played on Thursday, said that the possibility of a pitch clock does not affect the Royals.
We have no issue with the pitch clock. Because if you look at our reports once a week that we get on pace of game we are always in the top five. … We do our part. Now if everybody else in baseball did their part we wouldn’t have to worry about pitch clocks.– Ned Yost
We don’t know yet if a pitch clock will be in place for regular season games. Major League Baseball can implement a pitch clock without approval by the Players Association.
Listen to Soren’s entire interview with Ned Yost below: