Since becoming the Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has instituted a number of new measures that are designed to cut down the game time and to improve the overall pace of play.
Already a measure has been put in place making hitters keep their foot in the batter’s box between each pitch as well as one that reduces time between each half inning.
Manfred now wants to look at the pitcher’s mound for help.
The commissioner looked at a pair of possibilities including the use of a pitch clock and possible limits on relievers.
The clock would be used as a constant reminder that things need to be moved along. Manfred said that device has worked well at the minor league level.
Quantitative data has shown that it make the games faster but just as important players have not complained as they become accustomed to it and then work within its parameters.
The minor leagues have been using the clock the past few years and overall its presence has been non-intrusive and yielded results that were desired.
It appears from things that have been said that a pitch clock will most likely appear in ballparks at the major league level in the near future.
These types of changes are able to be negotiated outside of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which means the commissioner does not have to wait four to five years to put them in place.
Limiting the use of relievers is a much bolder idea and the commissioner is not as emphatic over the topic.
Few other things can kill the speed of a game like a manager going to an excess with changing relievers through use of a 12 or even 13-man bullpen.
Manfred and the league could make a move that a reliever must face more than a single batter, limit how many pitching changes can be made mid-inning or possibly reduce the number of pitchers allowed on an active roster.
The comments that Manfred made appear to indicate changes are due in the short term and clearly on his mind. That is a big indicator that there will be change forthcoming.
This could even mean that changes will be implemented prior to the beginning of the upcoming 2017 season.