Other Sports > Baseball

MLB Pitch clock and pickoff rules

(1/2) > >>

Help. I know this is Fed/NCAA forum, but there isn’t a MLB forum. Hope y’all can shed light.
Regarding the pitch clock, what are the rules as to when the clock begins? Easy enough when the catcher simply throws the ball back to the pitcher on/very near the mound. But, how does it work if the pitcher is doing something he should be doing, like covering first base when the ball is bunted down the FB line, and the FBman lets the ball roll OB. With no one one base, does he still have just 15 seconds, once he receives the ball, even that is in the close vicinity of the bag? Or, does the clock start when the pitcher is in/near the mound, and has the ball?
If the pitcher fakes a pickoff throw to 2nd or 3rd (or steps off the plate and fakes to 1, 2, or 3), does that count as a pickoff attempt?
Just need some education. Googling this doesn’t give me detail.

Ralph Damren:
This is way beyond my pay grade as I only work HS games. Any attempt to shorten length of game is welcomed by many . I'm told that 97% of the game consisted of the pitcher scowling at the batter while said batter was scratching his - whatever - , anything to speed that up would be great. I don't foresee the timing rules trickling down to the NFHS level,however. None of our high schools have visable play clocks for football, so the chances of pitch clocks showing up are slim.

Maine unofficial attendance averages for regular season games :

Baseball                2- 3,000

Football                 5- 6,000

(NOTE I DIDN' SAY 2,000 - 3,000 OR 5,000 - 6,000.)


Don’t know about MLB, but the SEC “action clock” is :20 with bases empty or after a dead ball, and :30 if there is a play and the ball remains live.  The clock starts when the pitcher has the ball “in the proximity of the mound”.

In addition, there’s a 2:00 clock between half-innings (timed from the last out), and a 2:30 clock if a pitching change is made (timed from when the reliever exits the bullpen), or if a defensive conference is held.

Thanks. I get the general concept for MLB. But I am looking for details. Like, what happens if a batter (less than 2 strikes), with no runners on base, bunts down the first base line, the first baseman charges forward to field the ball, the pitcher hustles over to/toward first base to, ostensibly, take a throw from the first baseman, but the first baseman allows the ball to slowly move foul before he fields the ball. Then he tosses the ball to the pitcher, who has just begun to move away from first base back toward the mound. Is this still a 15-second pitch clock? Does it start when the pitcher receives the ball? Does it start when the pitcher gets back on the mound (with the ball)?
I think I got part of the answer in a video I saw moments ago. The plate umpire will have an O2O-style field mic, with which he can communicate with the pitch clock operator. So, he can tell the PCO to set the pitch clock to 15, 20 or 30, and when to start it.
And, I found out that the pitcher has a combined maximum 2 pickoff attempts/step offs per batter. Still don't know what constitutes a pickoff attempt, i.e., does he have to throw the ball? Or, does a fake (to 2nd or 3rd) qualify as an attempt?
Refresh my memory - my professional baseball umpiring career ended in 1980, and my NCAA career ended in 1987. So, it has been a while. When a pitcher, in contact with the pitcher's plate, wants to fake a throw to 2nd or 3rd, does he have to step toward the base? Or, can he remain flat footed and just throw with his arm?

Any throw or fake from the rubber requires a step toward the base.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version