Larger bases, quicker pitch clock in place this season for Reno Aces

Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 6:00 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Opening Day at Greater Nevada Field is less than three weeks away.

Major League Baseball is always trying to find new, creative ways to keep people engaged so Aces fans will see some rule changes this season.

It could impact the way they view the game.

Reno Aces President Eric Edelstein the frequent gripes with baseball usually include ‘there’s too much standing around’ and ‘games take too long.’

This season the club will have a new automated ball-strike system, larger bases, and a quicker pitch clock.

I did a story on the ABS two months ago so let’s touch on the two other changes.

First, second, and third base will all be three inches bigger than in previous years. They’ll be lower and flatter, too.

The thought process there is to reduce injuries.

“It does create a few inches shorter on the paths between the bases,” Edelstein added. “It’s all part of baseball’s initiative to get more runners in action and create more activity on the base paths because that’s what fans want to see.”

The pitch timer will also get quicker. Under the old rules hurlers got 20 seconds between pitches with no one on and 30 seconds if someone was on base. That didn’t move the needle enough when it came to shortening games.

“This year it’s going to be 14 seconds with no one on base, 19 seconds with a runner on base,” said Edelstein. “My favorite part is the pitcher can only step off the rubber once.”

If a pitcher isn’t set when the clock runs out they could have a ball added to the count. If a batter isn’t ready they could be penalized an added strike.

Last season, on average, games were 20 minutes shorter in the Cal League under the new rules.

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