New Major League Baseball commissioner Ron Manfred wants to improve the pace of play in 2015, and to do so, he and the Pace of Game Committee announced additions to the program, in addition to a few modifications to the replay system.
These changes will be enforced during Spring Training, the regular season and the Postseason, and they include:
- The Batter’s box rule will be enforced "unless an established exception occurs." The rule states that batters will have to keep a foot in the box at all times.
- Timers will be added to all stadium scoreboards to help umpires enforce the pace of play by having the pitcher and batter ready as soon as commercial breaks are over. The timer will be started after the last out of the inning and will run for 2:25 in locally televised games, and 2:45 for nationally televised games.
"These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play,” Commissioner Manfred said. “The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter's box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game."
In addition to these changes:
- Coaches will now have to challenge plays from the duguout instead of the usual slow walk to the umpire to ask for a review (Unless the questioned call is the third out; the coach is then required to leave the dugout to hold the defensive team on the field).
- Tag up plays will now be reviewable.
- A manager will be able to retain his challenge after every overturned call, as opposed to only retaining his first challenge like the previous year.
- During Postseason games, regular season tiebreaker games and the All-Star Game, managers will now have two challenges per game.