The first four days of the 2023 MLB season are already in the books.
The league has implemented a series of rule changes that have directly affected games, their duration, and dynamics.
MLB insider Jeff Passan tweeted some insightful data about the tangible changes that have occurred in the league.
The first four days of the MLB season, by the numbers:
Time of game
2023: 70 of 84 (83.3%)
2022: 29 of 43 (67.4%)
Pitch clock violations
2023: 40 (0.8 per game)
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 3, 2023
The most noticeable change, besides the obvious pitch clock violations – there wasn’t one last year – is the time of play.
On average, those 50 games in 2022 lasted about three hours and nine minutes.
That number fell to two hours and 38 minutes in 2023 so far.
That’s half an hour worth of time the league has recovered on average.
It’s very, very significant.
Younger audiences, and some of the old guard too, have advocated for the league to find a way to make games shorter and increase the pace.
They considered a lot of time was being wasted between pitches and in other stops.
Interest in the league and MLB games has been increasing, and it has been in large part because of the shorter, more dynamic games.
The larger bases have also brought lots and lots of successful stolen base attempts.
On top of that, the overall offensive output in the first four days of the season has increased.
Fans love home runs, but they also want to see stolen bases and balls in play.
The slugging percentage went from .374 to .392, and the on-base percentage increased from .308 to .323.
The league has done lots of things wrong in the last few years, but the rule changes implemented for the 2023 campaign have all been a major hit.NEXT: Shohei Ohtani Made His First Home Run Of The Year Count