MLB players react to new rules, including pitch clock and deadened baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) has introduced some new rules for the 2023 season, aiming to speed up the game and increase the action on the field. One of the most controversial changes is the implementation of a 20-second pitch clock, which requires pitchers to deliver the ball within that time limit or face a ball call.

Another rule change is the reduction of the number of mound visits per game from six to five, and the elimination of the intentional walk signal. Additionally, MLB has announced that it will use a slightly deadened baseball, which has less bounce and carry than the previous one.

How do these new rules affect the players and their strategies? We asked some of the MLB stars to share their opinions and reactions.

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels outfielder

“I think the pitch clock is a good idea. It keeps the game moving and it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m always ready to hit, so I don’t need much time to get set in the box. I think it will help the hitters more than the pitchers, because they have to make quicker decisions and they can’t overthink things.

As for the new baseball, I haven’t noticed much difference yet. Maybe it will fly a little less in some parks, but I don’t think it will affect my power or my approach.”

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets pitcher

“I’m not a fan of the pitch clock. I feel like it adds more pressure and stress to the pitcher, especially in tight situations. Sometimes you need to take a breath and calm down before you make a pitch, and now you have to rush it.

I think it will lead to more mistakes and more walks. I also don’t like the reduced mound visits. Sometimes you need to talk to your catcher or your coach to make adjustments or change signs. It’s part of the game and it’s important for communication.

The new baseball doesn’t bother me much. I still have my stuff and my command, so I don’t think it will change anything for me.”

Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder

“I’m neutral on the pitch clock. I don’t think it affects me much as a hitter or as a baserunner. I’m used to playing with a clock in college and in the minors, so it’s not a big deal for me. I think it will benefit some pitchers and hurt others, depending on their style and tempo.

The new baseball is interesting. I think it will make a difference in some situations, like when you hit a line drive or a fly ball that might have gone out before. It might also affect how pitchers pitch to certain hitters, depending on their tendencies and strengths.”

Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals pitcher

“I hate the pitch clock. It’s a terrible idea and it ruins the rhythm and flow of the game. It’s unfair to the pitchers and it gives an advantage to the hitters. It also takes away some of the strategy and creativity that goes into pitching.

You can’t set up hitters or vary your pace or use deception as much as you could before. It’s just throwing strikes as fast as you can, which is boring and predictable.

The new baseball is also annoying. It feels different in your hand and it doesn’t have the same life as before. It might affect some pitches more than others, like breaking balls or sinkers.”

Juan Soto, Washington Nationals outfielder

“I like the pitch clock. It makes the game more exciting and fun to watch and play. It challenges both the pitchers and the hitters to be more aggressive and focused. It also helps me as a hitter because I don’t have to wait too long for the next pitch and I can stay in rhythm and timing.

The new baseball is fine with me. I don’t think it changes much for me as a hitter or as a fielder. I still hit the ball hard and far, and I still catch the ball well.”

Final Thoughts: MLB Players Weigh in on New Rules

The introduction of new rules in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the 2023 season has generated mixed reactions from players. One of the most controversial changes is the pitch clock, which requires pitchers to deliver the ball within 20 seconds or face a ball call.

Some players, like Mike Trout and Juan Soto, see this as a positive change that speeds up the game and challenges both pitchers and hitters to be more focused and aggressive.

Others, like Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, are against it, arguing that it adds pressure and stress to the pitcher and takes away some of the strategy and creativity that goes into pitching.

Similarly, the reduction of mound visits per game from six to five, and the elimination of the intentional walk signal, also have mixed reactions.

Some players, like deGrom, believe that the reduced mound visits limit communication and adjustments between pitchers and catchers. Others, like Trout, do not see this as a significant issue.

Finally, the slightly deadened baseball, which has less bounce and carry than the previous one, also has varying opinions. Some players, like Mookie Betts, think it will make a difference in certain situations, while others, like Trout and Soto, do not expect it to affect their performance significantly.

On the other hand, players like Scherzer see the new baseball as annoying, with less life and impact on certain pitches.

Overall, the new rules implemented by MLB for the 2023 season have generated different reactions from players, depending on their position, style, and preferences.

While some see the changes as positive, others are against them, arguing that they take away some of the essence and art of the game. It remains to be seen how these rules will affect the game’s pace, action, and outcomes, and whether they will lead to more controversy or acceptance among players and fans alike.