Rule Change in Minors Will Put Runner on 2B in Extra Innings
With commissioner Rob Manfred focused on increasing the pace of play in Major League Baseball, the minor leagues have become a proving grounds of sort when it comes to the pitch clock and other ideas.
One of the focuses this season will be on possible solutions for speeding up extra-inning games.
Yahoo! Sports, citing sources, reported Wednesday that MLB will test a rule change in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and the Arizona League this summer that will automatically place a runner on second base at the start of extra innings.
A similar rule has been used internationally and will be in place for next month's World Baseball Classic.
MLB has proposed eliminating throwing four balls for an intentional walk and raising the strike zone above the knees, sources tell ESPN.
Joe Torre, MLB's Chief Baseball Officer, is in favor of seeing if the idea merits implementing at other levels.
"Let's see what it looks like," Torre told Yahoo! Sports. "It's not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch. As much as it's nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time.
"It's baseball. I'm just trying to get back to that, where this is the game that people come to watch. It doesn't mean you're going to score. You're just trying to play baseball."