Mississippi Braves games will feature new extra inning rules, pitch clock

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It was announced on Wednesday that at all levels of minor league baseball, extra innings will begin with a runner on second base.

In addition to this new rule, the minors will also be cutting down on mound visits much like the big leagues, limiting teams to six mound visits per game in Triple-A and eight in Double-A. Its all an effort to reduce the length of games.

At all levels of the minors, extra innings will now start with a runner on second base.

We could one day Major League Baseball add similar rules.

Those familiar with the World Baseball Classic already know where this is going - yes, each team will receive an automatic baserunner at second base to begin each half-inning starting with the 10th inning.

Visits by coaches and position players to the pitcher's mound will be limited, with different rules for different levels. It's supposed to the player who batted previous to the leadoff batter of the inning (or a substitute for that player).

15-second pitch clock with the bases empty and 20-second pitch clock with men on base.

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For purposes of calculating earned runs under Rule 9.16, the runner who begins an inning on second base pursuant to this rule shall be deemed to be a runner who has reached second base because of a fielding error, but no error shall be charged to the opposing team or to any player. In 2018, the Double-A Missions will get 8 visits per game, with more visits allowed in extra innings.

It's important to keep up with these kinds of things because it's possible they eventually make their way to Major League Baseball - heck, mound visit limits already have. "Any runner or batter removed from the game for a substitute shall be ineligible to return to the game". And that will continue every inning until the game ends.

Another initiative to speed the game comes with changes to the pitch clock rules.

If the pitcher does not begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position in the allotted time, a ball will be added to the count on the batter.

The Class A Florida State League experimented with a 15-second pitch clock in all situations the past two years, and its average time for a nine-inning game dropped from 2:41 in 2015 to 2:35 the following season before rising to 2:38 last year.

A pitcher must start his windup or be in the set position before the timer expires, and batters must be in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher with at least 7 seconds remaining.

Failure to comply will result in a ball awarded to the count on the batter. The rules will have a grace period for the first 15 days of the season, until April 20, and only warnings will be given for violations during that time, The Washington Post reported.

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