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Friday, February 20, 2015

MLB Releases Pace of Game, Replay Changes for 2015

MLB announced changes to pace of game and instant replay review for 2015 designed to cut down on game times. For the upcoming season, Major League Baseball's Pace of Game and Instant Replay Committees—with the approval of the MLB Players Association and World Umpires Association—announced the following rules and enforcement changes:

Instant Replay Review (Video: MLB Network Hot Stove Introduces New Rules)
> Managers now will challenge plays from the dugout. The invocation of the Manager's Challenge will be signaled verbally or with a hand gesture by the manager from the top step of the dugout. The Manager will still be permitted to hold play while consulting with replay and coaching personnel. In the event of an inning-ending play to be reviewed, the Manager will be required to leave the dugout immediately to challenge the call, as in 2014.

> As a result of the unreviewable play that was overturned in Kansas City, MLB has added properly touching a base on a tag-up play (including whether a runner left early) to the list of reviewable plays.

> A manager will now retain the challenge after every overturned call, instead of losing his challenge after its second use, regardless of whether the second call was reversed or affirmed.

> As a result of the Rule 7.13 loophole, wherein safe/out plays at home plate could be reviewed "for free" (Crew Chief Review) instead of by Manager's Challenge, MLB has now decided that all home-plate collision reviews must be initiated via Manager's Challenge, unless the Manager is out of challenge after the start of the seventh inning, in which case the Crew Chief Review is available as it would be for any other reviewable play. This leaves 2008-era HR/boundary calls as the only play that always is initiated by the umpiring Crew Chief.

> During Jewel Events (postseason, regular season tiebreaker and All-Star games), Managers will now have two challenges per game.

Pace of Game Rules Changes and Initiatives
> Umpires will enforce Rule 6.02(d), the batter's box pace of play rule that previously applied only to National Association, or Minor League games. The rule requires batters to keep one foot in the batter's box throughout the at-bat unless: the batter swings at a pitch, the batter is forced out of the box by a pitch, the umpire grants a request of "Time," a play is made on a runner at any base, the batter feints a bunt, a wild pitch or passed ball occurs, the pitcher leaves the dirt of the mound after receiving the ball or the catcher leaves the catcher's box to give signals. The penalty for violation is the award of an automatic strike.

> Inning breaks and pitching changes will now be timed by an MLB timer and the eight-pitch warm-up will be forgone in favor of the time. For instance, a pitcher will have 2 minutes and 15 seconds in which to throw as many warm-up pitches as he wishes for a nationally televised game (1:55 for locally televised games). If he throws less than eight, he forfeits the opportunity to throw the remainder of the traditional allotment. The penalty for violation is a League-issued warning and fine.


Press Release: MLB, MLBPA announce pace of game initiatives, replay modifications (MLB.com)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2015 Major League Spring Training Umpire Roster

MLB released its Spring Training Umpires roster for 2015, which includes all 76 umpires on the freshly expanded Major League staff, plus those minor league umpires invited and assigned to baseball's Spring Training in Arizona's Cactus and Florida's Grapefruit Leagues. For the 2015 season, the Major League staff expanded to 76 (from 74) following MLB's hiring of three umpires and the retirement of one.

The Spring Training roster below also includes sleeve numbers for all applicable umpires, including Minor League call-up umpires authorized to fill in at the Major League level during the regular season. "--" indicates umpire is a Minor League (AAA) official and has not been given a sleeve number for the MLB regular season fill-in list. Newcomers to the MiLB Call-Up list are indicated by bold text.

MLB Spring Training Umpires' Roster - 2015 Pre-Season
MLB StaffMLB StaffMiLB Call-Ups
Baker, Jordan 71
Barksdale, Lance 23
Barrett, Lance 94
Barrett, Ted 65
Barry, Scott 87
Bellino, Dan 2
Blaser, Cory 89
Bucknor, CB 54
Carapazza, Vic 19
Carlson, Mark 6
Cederstrom, Gary 38
Conroy, Chris 98
Cooper, Eric 56
Culbreth, Fieldin 25
Cuzzi, Phil 10
Danley, Kerwin 44
Davidson, Bob 61
Davis, Gerry 12
DeMuth, Dana 32
Diaz, Laz 63
DiMuro, Mike 16
Drake, Rob 30
Dreckman, Bruce 1
Eddings, Doug 88
Emmel, Paul 50
Estabrook, Mike 83
Everitt, Mike 57
Fairchild, Chad 4
Fletcher, Andy 49
Foster, Marty 60
Gibson, Greg 53
Gibson, Hal 'Tripp' 73
Gonzalez, Manny 79
Gorman, Brian 9
Guccione, Chris 68
Hallion, Tom 20
Hernandez, Angel 55
Hickox, Ed 15
Hirschbeck, John 17
Holbrook, Sam 34
Hoye, James 92
Hudson, Marvin 51
Iassogna, Dan 58
Johnson, Adrian 80
Joyce, Jim 66
Kellogg, Jeff 8
Knight, Brian 91
Kulpa, Ron 46
Layne, Jerry 24
Little, Will 93
Marquez, Alfonso 72
Meals, Jerry 41
Miller, Bill 26
Muchlinski, Mike 76
Nauert, Paul 39
Nelson, Jeff 45
O'Nora, Brian 7
Porter, Alan 64
Rackley, David 86
Randazzo, Tony 11
Reyburn, D.J. 70
Reynolds Jim 77
Ripperger, Mark 90
Schrieber, Paul 43
Scott, Dale 5
Tichenor, Todd 13
Timmons, Tim 95
Vanover, Larry 27
Wegner, Mark 14
Welke, Bill 52
Welke, Tim 3
Wendelstedt, Hunter 21
West, Joe 22
Winters, Mike 33
Wolcott, Quinn 81
Wolf, Jim 28

Barber, Sean 29
Basner, Toby 99
Blakney, Ryan --
Buckminster, Seth 67
Byrne, Jon 59
Fagan, Clint 82
Goodman, Ryan --
Gosney, Jeff 40
Hamari, Adam 78
Hoberg, Pat 31
Johnson, Anthony 48
Lentz, Nic --
May, Ben 97
Morales, Gabe 47
Pattillo, Marcus 18
Scheurwater, Stuart 85
Segal, Chris 96
Torres, Carlos --
Tumpane, John 74
Vines, Doug --
Whitson, Chad 62
Woodring, Tom 75

(22 MiLB Umpires)
(76 MLB Umpires)
(98 Total Umpires)

Information obtained by
UEFL on 2/18/2015.
www.closecallsports.com
Some observations:
  • MiLB invites dropped by six (from 2014), while full-time MLB umpires increased by two.
  • Bruce Dreckman, John Hirschbeck and Sam Holbrook are returning, Tim McClelland is not.
  • Angel Campos (11 years of Triple-A experience; MLB 2007-2012, 2014) has been released.
  • Umpires who appeared on the 2014 Spring Training MiLB invitee list, but who have been cut for the 2015 preseason are: Allen Bailey, Angel Campos, Shaun Lampe, Jeff Morrow, Brad Myers, Alex Ortiz, and David Soucy.
  • Of these 2014 invitees cut from the 2015 invite list, Shaun Lampe, Jeff Morrow, and Alex Ortiz have been assigned to the 2015 Pacific Coast League. Brad Myers and David Soucy were IL Umpires in 2014. (Baseball switched Campos to the 2014 IL after several years in the PCL.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Retirement of MLB Umpire Tim McClelland

Veteran MLB Umpire Tim McClelland has retired from baseball's full-time umpire roster. McClelland retires after a 33-year career in the American League (1981-99) and in Major League Baseball (2000-2013).*

Retiring MLB Umpire Tim McClelland
The second-tallest umpire at the time of his retirement (tallest: Jordan Baker), McClelland concludes his illustrious MLB career with 77 ejections, spanning from his first career ejection on July 24, 1983, of Royals infielder George Brett for using a doctored bat as part of the infamous "pine tar game." Lost in the tale of the tape was the story of McClelland's other three ejections that day: Kansas City Manager Dick Howser, coach Rocky Colavito, and pitcher Gaylord Perry, for interfering with the umpires' confiscation by stealing Brett's bat.

Over the years, McClelland ejected Hall of Famers and other legendary ballplayers, including Yankees catcher-turned-manager Yogi Berra, Orioles ironman Cal Ripken, future broadcaster Joe Morgan, PED poster children Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, future boss Joe Torre and scores of others in between.

McClelland presided over David Wells' perfect game in 1998 and tied with fellow crew chief Tom Hallion for taking part in (being on the field for) the most no-hitters amongst active umpires—seven. He participated in three All-Star Games (1986, '98, 2003) and 15 postseasons, reaching the Fall Classic in 1993, 2000, 2002 and 2006. He made the playoff roster every year from 2000 through 2009, when multiple missed calls in Anaheim's AL Championship Series hit the front pages of mainstream sports media.

McClelland's final career ejection occurred June 9, 2012, when he ousted Oakland Athletics Manager Bob Melvin for arguing balls and strikes (QOC = Correct).

*McClelland's final game was in September 2013 as he spent the 2014 season as a member of the full-time MLB staff, but on the Disabled List.

As part of McClelland's retirement, 2014 acting crew chiefs Jerry Meals and Larry Vanover have been permanently promoted to the Crew Chief position.

Friday, February 13, 2015

MLB Considering Changing Strike Zone Definition

MLB may change the definition of its strike zone in 2016, according to league sources. According to the report, the Major League Baseball Playing Rules Committee—whose umpires have been represented by crew chief Brian Gorman since 2011, and Charlie Reliford before him—has put the strike zone on its agenda for the 2015-16 offseason and may tweak Rule 2.00 [Strike Zone] as early as that time. The rule presently reads:
The 1996-present (2015) strike zone in professional baseball.
The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
The reason for the review may be tied to decreased offense and run production: the league sources cited technology, including Questec and the now-employed Zone Evaluation system tied to Pitch f/x, and the unintended consequence of a larger, more consistent strike zone, that has led to a recent trend towards pitcher domination.

Mets GM and Playing Rules Committee chairman Sandy Alderson referred to the last time the Committee changed the definition of its strike zone, which occurred in 1996: "I don’t think the Playing Rules Committee at the time of the last change ever expected that the umpires would call strikes at the hollow of the knee."

Thanks to that committee and reinforced by the numbers and evaluation of PFX and ZE, they are.

A 2014 Hardball Times story concluded that the strike zone expanded down the knee, to its hollow, by 46 square inches between 2009 and 2014.

The following is a history of Major League Baseball's strike zone, in the form of [lower-upper limit]:

Key: Green = Lower or Upper Bound same as preceding rules changeYellow = Changed rule.
1887: Batsman's knee - shoulders;
1907: Batsman's knee - shoulders (Adopted by both National and American Leagues)
1950: Top of the knee when batter assumes a natural stance - armpits;
*NOTE: 1957 was the Adoption of Rule 2.00 [Strike] referencing Rule 2.00 [Strike Zone]*
1963: Top of knees when batter assumes a natural stance - top of shoulders;
1969: Top of knees when batter assumes a natural stance - armpits;
1988: Top of knees when prepared to swing - midpoint between top of shoulders and top of pants;
1996: Hollow of the knees when prepared to swing at pitch - midpoint b/w top of shoulders/pants.

H/T: Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan | Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, February 8, 2015

UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire Tripp Gibson

Presenting the UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire Tripp Gibson
Umpire Hal "Tripp" Gibson
Name: Hal Howard Gibson III
Date of Birth: August 5, 1981
Place of Birth: Mayfield, Kentucky

MiLB Leagues Worked: Gulf Coast, New York-Penn, South Atlantic, California, Florida State, Eastern, Southern, Pacific Coast.
MLB Debut: 2013
Level: MLB
Umpire Uniform Number: 73
Crew Chief: No

2014 Ejections: 1.
Ejection 092 (OAK 3B Josh Donaldson; QOC = Y) *First Career Ejection*

2013 Ejections: None.
Ejection History: 0 (2013), 1 (2014).

UEFL History: Tripp Gibson

Postseason and Special Events History
World Baseball Classic: -
All-Star Game: -
Wild Card Game: -
Division Series: -
Championship Series: -
World Series: -

UEFL Fill-In of the Year Award: 2014

Notes: Named to the full-time MLB staff in January 2015.
» Alum of the Harry Wendelstedt School and Murray State, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
» Prior to his appointment, served as a substitute teacher during the minor league offseason.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire Will Little

Presenting the UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire Will Little.
Umpire Will Little (left)
Name: William Max Little III
Date of Birth: March 2, 1984
Place of Birth: Fall Branch, Tennessee

MiLB Leagues Worked: Gulf Coast, Appalachian, South Atlantic, Carolina, Southern, International.
MLB Debut: 2013
Level: MLB
Umpire Uniform Number: 93
Crew Chief: No

2014 Ejections: 4.
Ejection 165 (LAD PH Andre Ethier; QOC = U).
Ejection 138 (STL M Mike Matheny; QOC = Y).
Ejection 052 (MIA M Mike Redmond; QOC = Y).
Ejection 037 (LAD M Don Mattingly; QOC = Y).

2013 Ejections: 3.
Ejection 151 (KC M Ned Yost; QOC = Y).
Ejection 121 (DET P Max Scherzer; QOC = Y).
Ejection 084 (BAL 3B Manny Machado; QOC = Y). *First Career Ejection*

Ejection History: 3 (2013), 4 (2014).

UEFL History: Will Little

Postseason and Special Events History
World Baseball Classic: -
All-Star Game: -
Wild Card Game: -
Division Series: -
Championship Series: -
World Series: -

Notes: Named to the full-time MLB staff in January 2015.
» Alum of the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring (JEAPU), played baseball at Milligan College.
» Began his umpiring career at Elizabethton Little League; worked the WBC Qualifier in Germany.

Friday, February 6, 2015

UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire: Mark Ripperger

Presenting the UEFL Profile of MLB Umpire Mark Ripperger.
Umpire Mark Ripperger
Name: Mark Anthony Ripperger
Date of Birth: August 6, 1980
Place of Birth: Escondido, California

MiLB Leagues Worked: Arizona, Northwest, Midwest, California, Eastern, Hawaii Winter, Pacific Coast.
MLB Debut: 2010
Level: MLB
Umpire Uniform Number: 90
Crew Chief: No

2014 Ejections: 6.
Ejection 166 (MIL M Ron Roenicke; QOC = Y).
Ejection 145 (STL LF Matt Holliday; QOC = Y).
Ejection 131 (TB M Joe Maddon; QOC = N).
Ejection 091 (PHI M Ryne Sandberg; QOC = U).
Ejection 090 (PHI P Roberto Hernandez; QOC = U).
Ejection 040 (SEA P Felix Hernandez; QOC = N).

2013 Ejections: 1.
Ejection 154 (HOU M Bo Porter; QOC = Y).

2012 Ejections: 1.
Ejection 178 (COL RF Andrew Brown; QOC = N).

2011 Ejections: 1.
Ejection 156 (BOS M Terry Francona; QOC = Y). *First Career Ejection*

Ejection History: 1 (2011), 1 (2012), 1 (2013), 6 (2014).

UEFL History: Mark Ripperger

Postseason and Special Events History
World Baseball Classic: -
All-Star Game: -
Wild Card Game: -
Division Series: -
Championship Series: -
World Series: -

Notes: Named to the full-time MLB staff in January 2015.
» Alum of Harry Wendelstedt & Escondido High School; attended Palomar College & Cal State San Marcos.
» Started umpire career at Escondido Little League at age 16 after breaking his right foot junior year.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Winter Leagues Baseball Ejections, January 2015

Here is baseball's January 2015 Winter Leagues ejections update, including the Caribbean Winter & Australian Baseball Leagues; the regional Caribbean League seasons are now complete, ABL is in playoffs:

2B Umpire Kelvin Bultron: Indios de Mayaguez Manager Carlos Baerga for Unsportsmanlike-NEC (RC, 1/3)
HP Umpire Jorge Teran: Caribes de Anzoategui Manager Omar Lopez for arguing an out call (V, 1/3)
3B Umpire Jair Fernandez: Aguilas de Mexicali Manager Juan Castro for arguing a check swing (M, 1/6)
HP Umpire Carlos R Cotto: Criollos de Caguas 1B Carlos Rivera for arguing a strike three call (RC, 1/7)
HP Umpire Tom Woodring: Toros del Este C Mayo Acosta for arguing a ball call (D, 1/8)
HP Umpire Ulises Dominguez: Tomateros de Culiacan 2B Ramiro Pena for arguing a strike 3 call (M, 1/8)
HP Umpire Jorge Davilla: Indios de Mayaguez RF Luis Montanez for arguing a strike 3 call (RC, 1/12)
HP Umpire David Arrieta: Aguilas del Zulia P Wilfredo Boscan for throwing at a batter (V, 1/12)
HP Umpire David Arrieta: Aguilas del Zulia Manager Eddie Perez for intent HBP after warning (V, 1/12)
HP Umpire Carlos Rey Cotto: Criollos de Caguas LF Juan Silva for arguing a strike 3 call (RC, 1/13)
HP Umpire Nate White: Navegantes del Magallanes 2B Henry Alejandro, balls and strikes (V, 1/18)
HP Umpire Neil Poulton: Adelaide Bite P Tony Vocca for intentionally throwing at batter (ABL, 1/18)
HP Umpire Neil Poulton: Melbourne Aces SS Brad Harman (hit batter) for fighting pitcher (ABL, 1/18)
HP Umpire Tom West: Brisbane Bandits C Ryan Battaglia for arguing a strike 3 call (ABL, 1/18)
1B Umpire Edwin Hernandez: Cangrejeros de Santurce 3B Coach Jose Flores, balk no-call (RC, 1/25)
HP Umpire Jorge Teran: Navegantes del Magallanes Manager Carlos Garcia, ball call (V, 1/28)
HP Umpire Trent Thomas: Perth Heat C Matt Kennelly for arguing a teammate's K3 call (ABL, 1/30)

*ABL = Australian, CS = Caribbean Series (Begins February 2015), D = Dominican (Concluded), M = Mexicana del Pacifico (Concluded), RC = Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico, Concluded), V = Venezuelan (Concluded)*

Thursday, January 29, 2015

UEFL 2015 Registration and Appeals Board Nomination


Quick Links: 2015 UEFL Registration Form / 2015 UEFL Appeals Board Candidacy Form
After registering, your name will be added to the 2015 UEFL Member Roster (note Last Updated date). Preliminary registrants will appear on the Roster. If you submit registration and do not see your username on the roster by the Friday of that week, please register again.

Per UEFL Rule 1, as first adopted prior to the 2013 season:
a.     A post announcing the opening of registrations shall appear on the UEFL website no later than two months prior to the start of the regular season. This post shall instruct members on the proper methods of signing up to participate in the UEFL for the upcoming season and will contain all appropriate pre-draft deadlines.
b.     Once the registration period is closed, a draft order shall be pre-assigned (see Rule 1-1-c). Five umpires shall be drafted by each UEFL member in the form of one (1) crew chief per Rule 1-2, two (2) primary umpires per Rule 1-3 and two (2) secondary umpires per Rule 1-4.
c.     The draft will be conducted in two phases: Phase one encompasses the crew/primary round while phase two encompasses the secondary draft. Members have the option of drafting all umpires during the first phase.
For more information about the UEFL draft and selection process, see the 2015 UEFL Rules Book. Note that the draft will occur in March 2015; no umpires will be selected until the draft begins in March.

Any visitor, guest or user may become a league member. There is no cost to register for this league. If you would like to register for the 2015 UEFL season, please complete the 2015 UEFL Registration Form. If you experience technical difficulties, please respond to this post with your requested username. If you participated during the 2014 season, please use the same username or otherwise mention what your username was last season. Do not select umpires during the registration process.

Important Note: To register for the 2015 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League, please indicate your desired username and e-mail address, the combination of which shall serve as user verification. Pursuant to Rules 4-7 and 6-1, users must be logged in to initiate challenges. The UEFL uses DISQUS for this purpose. To register, view any post on the website and scroll to the comments section. Click the "Join the discussion" text box and a variety of sign in options will appear. You can sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Google, or create an account with DISQUS. Your DISQUS sign in (whether Facebook, Twitter, Google or DISQUS itself) must match your UEFL username.

It is recommended that UEFL members be placed on an e-mail list so that we may expeditiously communicate important site-related news, such as UEFL Live Draft order and Prop Boards. If you wish to be included, please indicate this during registration.

Registration, draft and roster deadlines (Note: All deadlines extend to 11:59 PM Pacific on date indicated)
March 9, 2015 (Monday): Preliminary and standard registration processes closed, draft opens.
March 27, 2015 (Friday): Last day to submit unrestricted Primary umpires.
March 28, 2015 (Saturday): Last day to submit unrestricted Secondary umpires.
April 3, 2015 (Friday): Last day to submit unrestricted Crew Chief selections.
April 4, 2015 (Saturday): Last day for roster changes (retirements, pre-season injuries, etc.).
April 5, 2015 (Sunday): Cardinals at Cubs (ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, Opening Night)
Any late submissions will be "restricted," meaning umpire selection will be limited to a list as determined by the Commissioner and based on timely league drafting activity.

Appeals Board: Rule 6-4-a mandates the establishment and maintenance of an Appeals Board to rule on disputed issues, such as Quality of Correctness. Any visitor, guest or user may become an Appeals Board member and may or may not also be a concurrent league member. The Appeals Board operates on a voluntary basis only and is a one-year term (no term limits). To apply, please access this form. If you are interested in nominating yourself for the one at-large Appeals Board vacancy, please consider the following requirements:
➤ Ability to separate subjectivity from objective analysis;
➤ Extensive rules knowledge or ability to attain exceptional proficiency;
➤ Acceptance of prior and willingness to form UEFL precedent and rule interpretations;
➤ Ability to objectively and thoroughly analyze plays to determine, among others, Quality of Correctness;
➤ Availability to respond to the "Office of the UEFL Commissioner" in a timely fashion;
➤ Board members must abstain from ruling on plays involving drafted umpires (if applicable).

2015 Appeals Board page on the UEFL Portal
Permanent Appeals Board members are: Gil (Commissioner, Chair), Jeremy (Deputy Commissioner).
Appeals Board members re-elected via the 2014 Rules Summit are: Arik G, JD, RichMSN, tmac, Turducken, cyclone14.
Vacancy: Seat 9.

Appeals Board nomination and election procedures, deadlines
January 29, 2015 (Thursday): Appeals Board nominations opened.
March 20, 2015 (Friday): Appeals Board nominations closed and voting begins.
March 27, 2015 (Friday): Appeals Board voting ends.
April 5, 2015 (Sunday): Opening Night, Cubs at Cardinals, MLB season begins.

If you have any questions, please post here. As you can see, registration will remain open for over four weeks while Appeals Board nominations will remain open for over six weeks. We hope you enjoy this registration process for the 2015 season. Read on for a "How To" example...

Scenario, Registration & Draft: John Doe would like to register for the 2015 UEFL season. He reads the new policies and procedures for 2015 and registers a username with the DISQUS commenting system. On March 14, John takes part in phase one of the UEFL draft by selecting two primary umpires, Ump A and Ump B. Ump A is MLB-level while Ump-B is AAA-level. John opts not to select Secondary umpires at this time, though he has the option to do so. On March 25, John chooses his two secondary umpires and drafts Ump C and then Ump D, whom are both MLB level umpires. On March 30, John submits his Crew Chief selection, selecting Ump E. On April 2, it is revealed Ump E has suffered an injury; John contacts the Office of the UEFL Commissioner and successfully changes his Crew Chief selection from Ump E to Ump A (who is also one of John's primary umpires).

Scenario, Appeals Board: John Doe would also like to run for a vacant seat on the Appeals Board and after reading Rule 6 and the above description of a boardperson's duties, believes he will be a solid fit. He completes the nomination process in February. John makes sure to vote for himself and another candidate and submits his ballot on March 21, cognizant of the fact that voting twice in the Appeals Board election or contributing to voting irregularities surrounding his candidacy will disqualify himself gaining election.

To register for the 2015 UEFL season, please complete the form below (click here if you cannot see it):

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MiLB Double-A, Triple-A to Adopt 20-Second Pitch Clock

Double- and Triple-A will likely use a 20-second pitch clock in 2015, according to MiLB.com. Taking place at the January Arizona meetings is a negotiation with the players' union over pace-of-game concerns. Minor League Baseball's higher levels will also reportedly implement other methods tested during 2014's Arizona Fall League.
The Pitch Clock. Photo: Arizona Fall League

These include a modification of OBR Rule 6.02(d) regarding a batter keeping at least one foot in the batter's box throughout his at-bat (with limited exception), the manager's ability to request an intentional walk as opposed to his pitcher throwing four times, and a limit of three non-substitutive defensive conferences/mound visits per game.

During the 2013 Winter Meetings, MLB Chief Baseball Officer (then Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations) Joe Torre said, "There is a chance that will happen."