MLB has officially approved some rule changes for the 2023 season.
For quite some time, rumors have been swirling that MLB wanted to ban the shift, implement a pitch clock, and have larger bases.
Today, those changes became a reality and will go into effect next season.
MLB’s committee officially agreed to implement these rule changes for the 2023 season and beyond.
Exaggerated defensive shifts will be no more.
Two fielders are required to be on each side of the second base bag, which is how players traditionally lined up on the infield.
Both fielders will also be required to have both feet on the dirt at all times.
Breaking: MLB's competition committee has voted to implement a pitch clock, larger bases and ban defensive shifts starting in 2023, sources tell @JeffPassan.
15-second clock with bases empty, 20 with runners on; and two fielders on each side of 2B bag, both feet on the dirt. pic.twitter.com/uPSZ9GbZ8j
— ESPN (@espn) September 9, 2022
MLB Bans The Shift
This is a big change for baseball.
Several hitters around the league for years have been wanting the shift to be banned.
Now, it’s finally a reality.
With this change, we can probably expect to see a lot more offense.
With the exaggerated shift on, hard-hit balls that would normally be hits would turn into outs.
But with limits on the shift, we’ll probably see those hard-hit balls ultimately turn into hits, which means a bit of an uptick in offensive production.
Shifts have become more common in recent years thanks to analytics.
But now, that has come into question.
For hitters, this will be a welcomed change, as it will be much easier to actually hit.
Hitters have been affected the most by the shift.
The shift obviously makes it much harder to find holes in the defense in some respects.
This should alleviate some of that.
We’ll see how the rest of the league responds to these changes and if they’ll ultimately be good for the development of the game or not.