The rest of the 2022 Major League Baseball season is going to be played as we know it. However, future years are going to have some different rules that will certainly impact the Chicago White Sox and the entire league.
The first rule is that the pitch clock is coming to baseball. This is something that has been tested in Minor League Baseball for a long time. The pitch clock will be 15 seconds when there is no runner on and 20 seconds if bases have runners on.
The next rule is the banning of the shift. It has been a long time coming but it is finally here. Each team’s defense will need to have two players on each side of second base with both feet touching the infield dirt.
The positioning of players on defense will be a reviewable play. If the defense is reviewed and seen as illegal, the offensive team can choose to accept the outcome of the play or they can take an automatic ball in the count instead.
The Chicago White Sox are going to have some rule changes to deal with in 2023.
The third rule change is a very interesting one that should change the game a lot. Each plate appearance will only allow the pitcher to make two pickoff attempts. That should absolutely drive up the number of stolen bases.
Each count will reset every time a runner advances. The interesting thing is that a pitcher can attempt a third pickoff move but if it is unsuccessful, it will result in a balk. The beginning of the 2023 season should be interesting with this stuff.
The last big rule change is that the bases will be larger. This is a great way to decrease the number of injuries. There will be more room for the defender and the runner to use the base to their advantage. Going from 15 inches to 18 inches should change a lot.
It also slightly shortens the path between each base and gives the runner more to aim for but the decrease in injuries is the real win here. More offense is clearly something that the league wants anyway.
The Chicago White Sox have a lot of pitchers that go at different paces so it will be interesting to see them all go at pretty much the same pace. There are also hitters like Gavin Sheets and Yasmani Grandal that might benefit from the ban of the shift.
2023 is going to be interesting with these new rules and we have to hope that the White Sox finds a smart way to adjust.