Baseball season is here again, and with it comes some new rules to help strengthen the game and put a new spin on America's favorite pastime.

Opening Day 2023

MLB's 2023 Opening Day is this week! All 30 teams will play in 15 games on opening day, Thursday, March 30th. With the new season comes new rules. These rules have been going through a trial period in the minor leagues and they've finally brought them up to the major leagues!

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NEW RULES

PITCH TIMER

  • 15 seconds with bases empty; 20 seconds with runners on
  • Hitter gets 1 timeout per plate appearance; must be in batter’s box with 8 seconds left
  • Pitchers get two disengagements (pickoff attempts or step-offs) per batter; violations are a balk
  • Limits on pickoff attempts led to 26% increase in stolen base attempts in Minors
  • Pitch timer helped reduce game length by 25 minutes in Minors in ‘22

SHIFT RESTRICTIONS

  • Two infielders must be positioned on either side of 2B when pitch is released
  • All four infielders must have both feet within the infield when pitcher is on rubber
  • Shift restrictions increased batting average and decreased strikeouts in Minors while giving players more opportunity to show off their athleticism

BIGGER BASES

  • 1B, 2B and 3B increased from 15” square to 18” square
  • Bigger bases expected to have positive impact on player safety
  • Distance reduced by 3" from home to 1st and home to 3rd, reduced by 4.5" from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd
  • Bigger bases reduced injury events near the bases by more than 13% in the Minors in 2022

LOOK: MLB history from the year you were born

Stacker compiled key moments from Major League Baseball's history over the past 100 years. Using a variety of sources from Major League Baseball (MLB) record books, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and audio and video from events, we've listed the iconic moments that shaped a sport and a nation. Read through to find out what happened in MLB history the year you were born.

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