GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – There’s now a time limit in baseball. The MLB has implemented a pitch clock for the first time this season, a rule change successfully implemented in the minor league system last year. So, the Milwaukee Brewers can learn about the change from their High-A ball club, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
The new pitch clock system gives specific time restraints:
- Pitchers have 15 seconds to throw a pitch when the bases are empty
- Pitchers have 20 seconds to throw a pitch when a runner is on base
- Hitters need to be in the batter’s box with at least 8 seconds left on the clock
A ball would be issued if a pitcher fails to get a throw off before time expires. If a batter violates the new rule, a strike is enforced.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers manager Joe Ayrault called the pitch clock an “adjustment,” but ultimately agreed it was a necessary change for the league. Last year, he noticed his hitters initially had issues with their routines.
“After spending a season doing (the pitch clock) last year, it ended up going really well. It takes a little time to get used to…last year, the guys getting in the box, they have a routine,” said Ayrault, before emphasizing how important routines and superstitions can be in the baseball community.
But Ayrault message to his hitters who didn’t like the adjustment was simple: “You have to make the adjustment, otherwise it’s going to be strike one.”
A major reason for the pitch clock was to increase the action and decrease the total game time. An average MiLB game last season was 25 minutes shorter with the pitch clock, and so far this 2023 MLB season, the average games are 31 minutes shorter.
Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes said he’s still navigating how to use the pitch clock to his advantage but believes the new rule is good for the game of baseball. His manager Craig Counsell agreed.
So as the Brewers continue learning about the pitch clock and its strengths, the Timber Rattlers can serve as an example of the difficulties and exciting opportunities the new rule supplies.