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MLB reportedly proposes trimming pitch clock with runners on base

Major League Baseball has proposed cutting the pitch clock from 20 seconds to 18 seconds with runners on base, according to a person with direct knowledge of the proposal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday night because they weren’t authorized to discuss it publicly.

MLB’s proposal goes before an 11-member competition committee that includes four players, an umpire and six team representatives. The committee has to wait at least 45 days after a proposal to approve it.

The pitch clock would remain at 15 seconds with no runners on base.

MLB’s proposal was first reported by ESPN.

With the pitch clock, the average time of nine-inning games dropped to 2 hours, 40 minutes during the regular season, the lowest since 1985. That speed-up carried over to the postseason, where nine-inning World Series games averaged 3:01, the fastest since 1996.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said last month he didn’t anticipate any major rules changes for next season.

“We should let ’23 settle a little bit. It was a big, big set of changes,” he said before the World Series opener. “I’m thinking about ’24 as kind of an adjustment as opposed to dramatic change here.”

Average time of nine-inning games crept up from 2:37 in April to 2:44 in September.

There was an average of 6.5 seconds left on the clock when pitchers delivered with no runners on base this season, versus 7.3 seconds left when the timer was set to 20 seconds with runners on base. Of the 747 pitcher violations called in the regular season, 14% came on the 20-second timer.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

Major League Baseball

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