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MLB announces pace of play initiatives

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World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Houston Astros - Game Four Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

MLB is proceeding with rule changes for 2018 designed to improve the pace of play. The rules were formulated in consultation with the players, although the union expressed concern about changes that might alter “the outcome of games and the fabric of the game itself.” One change that will not be implemented is a pitch clock.

The new rules are as follows:

Mound visits without pitching changes are limited to six per team per nine innings. This includes visits by the manager, a coach or a position player, but there’s an exception where the home plate umpire believes the pitcher and catcher need to meet briefly due to a misunderstanding over signs.

There are fairly detailed time limits pertaining to between-inning breaks and pitching changes.

The rule about the batter stepping out of the box remains in effect.

Changes will be made to the instant replay equipment, presumably to speed up replays.