As the baseball season gets under way, TDS TV®+ is home to regional sports networks across the country as well as national sports networks slated to carry MLB games. Be sure to catch all the action from Major League Baseball all season long on TDS TV+.

In an effort to speed up the pace of play and make the game more enjoyable for fans, MLB is instituting new rules that will impact almost every facet of the game – pitching, hitting, baserunning and fielding. Before watching your favorite team this year, we are here to help keep you abreast of the following new rules this year.

The new rule: At the start of each pitch, teams must have at least two infielders on either side of second base, with all four positioned on the infield dirt. Infielders may not switch positions unless there is a substitution.

Anticipated Result: Eliminating the overshift is expected to require more athletic plays by infielders.

The New Rule: There is a 30-second timer between batters and a time limit between pitches. After receiving the ball from the catcher or umpire, pitchers are required to begin their motion within 15 seconds with the bases empty or within 20 seconds with runners on base. If they don’t, they’re charged with an automatic ball.

Anticipated Result: Speed up the game.

The New Rule: Hitters are also tasked with keeping the game moving. They must be in the batter’s box and ready for the pitch by the time the clock reaches 8 seconds. If not, they’re charged with an automatic strike. A batter can call time out only once per plate appearance.

The New Rule: The bases are now 18 inches square (previously 15 inches). That decreases the distance between first, second and third base by 4.5 inches. (Home plate – which stays the same size – to first base is 3 inches shorter.)

Anticipated Result: To give players more room to operate and to avoid collisions.

The New Rule: Pitchers are limited to a maximum of two pickoff attempts per plate appearance. If a pitcher attempts a third pickoff throw and doesn’t get the runner out, it’s an automatic balk and all runners move up one base.

Anticipated Result: Speed up the game.

Rule Made Permanent: Every half inning after the ninth begins with a runner on second base.

Reason for Change: The idea was first instituted in 2020 to cut down on long games and prevent pitchers being overused in the pandemic-shortened season. It added a new layer of strategy and increased scoring considerably in extra innings — with teams and players overwhelmingly expressing their support for keeping it.

Make sure your TDS TV+ subscription is up to date as the ‘Boys of Summer’ take the field. To order TDS TV+, call 1-866-571-6662 or visit our website for more information.

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