pitch clock coming for spring training games

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Pitch clocks are coming for spring training games.

Looking to speed the pace of play in baseball, Commissioner Rob Manfred says pitchers will have 20 seconds to deliver to the plate when teams play exhibition games in Arizona and Florida beginning this week.

The intention is to get players and umpires accustomed to the clock in the event Major League Baseball makes the rule change for the upcoming regular season.

After the 2016 and 2017 seasons, players rebuffed management’s proposal for a pitch clock. Owners have the right to implement a clock this year without consent, but Manfred has been reluctant to initiate on-field modifications without agreement from players.

Speaking at spring training media day in Florida, Manfred says the rules involving the clock will be “phased in” and won’t start immediately with ball and strike calls. But there will be a functional clock in Grapefruit League and Cactus League games.