MLB experiments with Atlantic League include 3-batter minimum, elimination of shifts

first_img Tom Seaver’s plight sparks fan petition for statue at Citi Field Related News “The first group of experimental changes is designed to create more balls in play, defensive action, baserunning, and improve player safety,” Morgan Sword, MLB’s senior vice president, league economics and operations said in a press release. “We look forward to seeing them in action in the Atlantic League.”The changes are part of a three-year agreement between MLB and the Atlantic League that will also cover the transfer of players from ALPB to MLB and enhances scouting coverage of the league’s games.The Atlantic League is an independent baseball organization with teams located primarily in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. MLB is using the Atlantic League as a testing ground this year for the future of the game.Some far-reaching experiments will be conducted in the league, starting with how umpires will call balls and strikes. Here is a list of the changes MLB will be experimenting with in the Atlantic League beginning in 2019:Home plate umpire assisted in calling balls and strikes by TrackMan radar tracking system.No mound visits permitted by players or coaches other than for pitching changes or medical issues.Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters, or reach the end of an inning before they exit the game, unless the pitcher becomes injured.Increase size of first, second and third base from 15 inches square to 18 inches squareRequire two infielders to be on each side of second base when a pitch is released (if not, the ball is dead and the umpire shall call a ball)Time between innings and pitching changes reduced from 2:05 to 1:45Distance between pitching rubber to home plate extended 24 inches, in the second half of the season only; with no change to mound height or slope.MLB will take what it learns from the experiments and consider applying changes to higher levels, including MLB.last_img

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