Saturday, February 25, 2023

Pitch Clock Violation Strikes on 1st Day of Spring Training

Padres batter Manny Machado was penalized for violating MLB's new pitch clock rules on the first day of 2023 Spring Training, with HP Umpire Ryan Blakney awarding an automatic strike during Friday's Seattle-San Diego game when Mariners pitcher Robbie Ray was unable to deliver his pitch to Machado because batter Machado was not ready to receive it in time.

With one out and none on in the bottom of the 1st inning, Machado failed to appear in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher (ready for the pitch) with eight seconds remaining in the pitch clock countdown timer, which is the new rule's requirement. As a result, Blakney called "Time" and awarded an automatic strike, making the count 0-1. The at-bat continued in short order with Machado getting a base hit.

To review, the 2023 Pitch Clock rules for Major League Baseball are:
30-second timer will be used between batters;
20-second timer will be used between pitches with runners on base;
15-second timer will be used between pitches with zero runners on base.
The clock begins when the umpire declares "Play", the pitcher receives the ball (if time is already in), or the prior play concludes (as applicable).

The batter must be ready to go (in the box and alert to the pitcher) at the eight-second mark.
The pitcher must be ready to go (the pitching motion must begin) by the zero-second expiration of time.
Batter violation penalty: Automatic Strike / Pitcher violation penalty: Automatic ball.
Penalty for Arguing: Ejection.

Related PostMLB Announces Rules Changes for 2023 - A Review (9/9/22).

Video as follows: