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MLB Rule Changes

Jung Ho Kang was injured last season on this "controversial" slide by Cubs' Chris Coghlan Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jung Ho Kang was injured last season on this "controversial" slide by Cubs' Chris Coghlan
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Expect Clint Hurdle's bum hip to be a factor in the 2016 campaign as managers and pitching coaches will be on the clock. Beginning this year, coaches will be limited to thirty second mound visits. The time will be kept on an in-stadium clock from the moment they exit the dugout. Umpires will enforce the time, without penalty, employing the usual "move it along" nudge. This mound visit clock is part of the initiative by MLB to shorten the duration of games. Managers and pitching coaches frequently use  mound visits to provide bullpen guys some extra time to warm up, the league would like to get away from this. Other "fast play" initiatives have seemed to work as the average game time last season was cut down to just under three hours. In addition, MLB is cutting the time between innings from 2:25 to 2:05, in an attempt to shorten the game in the easiest ways possible. 

Middle infielders should feel a bit safer this season with amendments to sliding plays at second base. After a group from the MLB and the Players Association met and reviewed sliding plays from last season they were able to put together some changes and clarify the rules for sliding into second. They have outlined 4 main criteria for slides into second base: 1. Slide prior to reaching the bag 2. Slide so you are able to and attempt to reach or touch the base 3. Slide so you are able to and attempt to stay on the base 4. Do not change your pathway to the base 

Shortstops and second basemen are expected to receive throws and make turns from the back side of the bag, where if the new criteria is met, they will remain unharmed. 

Runners are no longer allowed to kick their legs above a fielders knee (no more spikes up). They may not start a slide after the bag or roll into a fielder either. These rules are now official and are expected to be strictly enforced by umpires this season. 



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