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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Minor-league pitch clock cut game times by 21 minutes in 2021

The Low-A West League is speeding up time, in baseball games, since it began experimenting with a 15-second pitch clock in June. As a result, the league has cut game times by 21 minutes.

That’s the direct opposite of MLB, where the average time of a nine-inning game is up by nearly 20 minutes, just over the last 10 years — and by more than a half-hour since the ‘80s. With major-league games filled with plenty of dead time, the MLB commissioner’s office is taking notice of the pitch clock’s impact on the Low-A West League (formerly the California League).

“It really is an incredible experience,” says former big-leaguer Raul Ibañez, who is one of the people overseeing this experiment in his role as a senior vice president of on-field operations for MLB. “It feels like the baseball games that I grew up watching in the ‘80s.”

The length of games isn’t the only thing affected by the newly implemented pitch clocks. The Low-A West League has also seen more runs and home runs, as well as fewer walks and strikeouts.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2021 at 12:06 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pitch clock

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6040955)
Just like we've been saying for a decade.
   2. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: September 22, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#6040961)
I am pro pitch clocks, but they aren't a cure all. Also, as JJ Cooper (author of the linked piece and active/good on this issue) has noted, for clocks to work you need consistent enforcement, which has tended to wane over time in the minors.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 22, 2021 at 12:53 PM (#6040969)
I keep having to remind myself that minor league baseball is still there.
   4. Scott Ross Posted: September 23, 2021 at 06:36 AM (#6041200)
You need consistent enforcement


Which is just one more reason we must embrace our robot overlords behind the dish.
   5. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2021 at 08:07 AM (#6041204)
I am pro pitch clocks, but they aren't a cure all. Also, as JJ Cooper (author of the linked piece and active/good on this issue) has noted, for clocks to work you need consistent enforcement, which has tended to wane over time in the minors.

Yeah I went to my first minor league game in a very long time a couple weeks ago, and was happy to see the pitch clock. My sense was it kept things moving, but both starters were consistently going a couple seconds over it and I didn't see any kind of warning being issued.
   6. Ron J Posted: September 23, 2021 at 08:42 AM (#6041213)
#5 That'll change next year with the rule changes to be tested. First violation and the ump uses a cattle prod on the catcher (wouldn't keep the game flowing if he had to use it on the pitcher). Second violation is a summary execution of the pitcher.
   7. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2021 at 08:57 AM (#6041215)
Seems harsh but I'm willing to see how it plays out before judging.
   8. bunyon Posted: September 23, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6041216)
A 15 second clock that umps routinely allow to be violated by three or four seconds would be way better than where we are now.
   9. Greg Pope Posted: September 23, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6041223)
A 15 second clock that umps routinely allow to be violated by three or four seconds would be way better than where we are now.

Right. And even though there would be some lax enforcement, it would be very easy for MLB to tighten things up every couple of years because pitch clock will be there.
   10. Darren Posted: September 23, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6041295)
Make it happen please. Also, no more replay or warmups for relievers. Warmup in the pen. Come in ready.
   11. DL from MN Posted: September 23, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6041315)
Start the pitch clock in extra innings instead of putting a runner on 2B?

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