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 (


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