SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. (WFAN) — Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is still looking for ways to speed up games and is open to implementing a pitch clock and a rule change regarding the use of relief pitchers.
Speaking to WFAN’s Chris Carlin and Kim Jones on Thursday, Manfred was asked if he might limit the number of pitching changes per game.
“I’d be open to making rule changes that would alter the use of relief pitchers,” said Manfred, who appeared at a golf and tennis fundraiser for the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation at Sleepy Hollow Country Club.
“Relief pitchers have really changed the game. The use of relief pitchers — obviously every time you have a pitching change, it goes contrary to our pace-of-game efforts. And the other thing it does — and hats off to them — our relievers now are so good that they actually make the back end of the game — seven, eight and nine — with less action in it. And when you think about keeping people engaged, you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Is this a good thing for the game?'”
Manfred also said he is a “big fan” of adding a 20-second pitch clock and plans to discuss the possibility with the players’ union.
“The 20-second clock, in my view, would be one of those things that would keep pace of play in the mind of pitchers without really changing the behavior in a huge way,” he said. “There’s just not that many pitchers who’d have a problem with the 20-second thing. It’s the aberrations that you take out.”
Baseball adopted some speed-up rules in 2015 and shaved six minutes off the average length of a game. But Manfred said the pace of play has been slower this season.
To listen to the full interview, click on the audio player above.