The MLB will use the clock to launch during the spring training



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WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – Major League Baseball will install match clocks for the Grapefruit and Cactus League matches in anticipation of a possible implementation during the 2019 regular season, said Commissioner Rob Manfred to reporters during the media day of the Grapefruit League.

The 20-second clocks, used in minors since 2015, will be introduced gradually this spring to allow players and referees to become familiar with the system. Manfred said that later MLB would reveal more details about the structure of this deployment.

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – Major League Baseball will install match clocks for the Grapefruit and Cactus League matches in anticipation of a possible implementation during the 2019 regular season, said Commissioner Rob Manfred to reporters during the media day of the Grapefruit League.

The 20-second clocks, used in minors since 2015, will be introduced gradually this spring to allow players and referees to become familiar with the system. Manfred said that later MLB would reveal more details about the structure of this deployment.

:: Cover of the spring training presented by Camping World ::

The goal, said Manfred, is to "begin to prepare for the possibility of using the pitch clock on the opening day".

This will happen if the MLB Players Association accepts the proposal or if the MLB chooses to use its collectively bargained right to apply it unilaterally. Under the rules of the collective agreement, the Commissioner has the right to impose rule changes if the MLBPA receives a notice of at least one year.

A pitch clock was originally proposed two years ago, which means that Manfred could have imposed a pitch clock without the approval of the MLBPA last year. Instead, the league and the players' association decided to proceed to other changes in the pace of play, such as limiting the number of mounds visits, thinking that a stopwatch field could be revisited in the future. On Sunday, the Commissioner stated that he had not yet decided whether he would unilaterally impose a shot clock for the upcoming regular season.

Manfred later confirmed that no further rule changes were planned for the spring training. Other proposed pace initiatives, including a rule that would require pitchers to face a minimum of three batters, can not be applied for the 2019 season without the MLBPA's approval. Until now, this has not happened.

Manfred added that while discussions on the prohibition or limitation of defensive changes continue, there is currently no plan to regulate how teams line up their defenders.

"It's an internal controversy because some people think that if we eliminate this change, we could somehow bring back baseball to a natural state," Manfred said. "Other people think that the elimination of change will probably have unpredictable results for us." This divides our group a little bit about whether it is favorable to eliminating or not the regulation of changes ".

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012 and had previously covered the Pirates 2007-2011. To follow her Twitter and Facebook.

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