Major League Baseball announced a series of initiatives it will implement during the 2015 season with hope of improving the pace of games.

MLB Public Relations passed along the complete list of updated standards:

The first point is a major one. Over the years it’s become common for batters to step out of the box and go through an elaborate routine between pitches. The same goes for pitchers who step off the rubber to reset.

The league’s attempt to limit those occurrences should have a noticeable effect during a game, as cutting down on the dead time between pitches will go a long way toward speeding up the action.

Of course, it comes down to enforcement. The release notes the league won’t fine anybody during spring training or the first month of the regular season while teams adapt to the new rules.

While the second group of changes probably won’t be as apparent on the surface, it should help the overall time. The middle three bullet points all address the time involved in commercial breaks. The league wants to start the process sooner so play resumes quicker when networks return from break.

Beyond that, there’s no sign of a pitch clock for this season. The league is testing the idea of a timer in minor league games to ensure pitches are thrown within a defined period rather than relying solely on the umpires to keep things moving. Whether it will be implemented down the line is unclear.

The other changes that have been made should help, as long as they are strictly enforced after the April grace period ends. Whether that will be enough to dramatically change the viewing experience at the ballpark and on television is still a major question mark, though.


Read more MLB news on