If you’ve been watching spring training games thus far and perhaps felt a little more anxious than you normally would, being these are fake games and don’t really matter, it may not be your internal Doomsday Clock ticking ever louder.
No, it may be that MLB’s new pitch clock is stressing you out.
First, a refresher. The new pitch clock is set to 15 seconds whenever the pitcher receives the ball back from the catcher or the umpire when no one is on base. With runners on, pitchers have 20 seconds to throw. Batters must also be in the box and prepared to hit with at least 8 seconds on the clock, all part of baseball’s grand plan to eliminate the dead space between pitches and shorten games.
The new clock is prominently featured at field level throughout all 32 clubs’ spring training sites, in full view of the pitcher, hitter and yes, you, the viewer. On this week’s Hittin’ Season episode, Justin Klugh, Liz Roscher and I discussed how the pitch clock is affecting our nerves as we watch countdown after countdown after countdown and how relieved we’ll all be when the clock is positioned off-camera at MLB stadiums.
Also, we chatted about Nick Castellanos’ early returns and adjustment, Trea Turner’s first game as a Phillie, chances Scott Kingery makes the squad and a bunch of dunking on former umpire Joe West.