Texas Rangers

This just in: Spring training rules changes offer preview of regular season

Kevin Anderson and Tony Frontzak work on mowing the grass at Surprise Stadium in preparation for the opening of the Rangers spring training in Surprise, AZ, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017.
Kevin Anderson and Tony Frontzak work on mowing the grass at Surprise Stadium in preparation for the opening of the Rangers spring training in Surprise, AZ, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

A day after announcing major rules changes for 2019 and others that will take affect in 2020, major league baseball instituted changes to spring training games for the rest of the schedule.

The pitch clock, which has been in use throughout the spring, is no longer being used. The league announced on Thursday that a pitch clock would not be instituted during the regular season.

The league’s change on between inning breaks and pitching changes, which limits the time from 2:05 to 2:00, are now in effect for spring games.

Mound visits have been reduced from six to five, just like the regular season.

The most interesting change for spring training games only is this: In tied games entering the ninth inning, both teams may mutually agree to start with a runner on second base. The must inform the home plate umpire before the inning. If the game remains tied, both teams may mutually agree to end the game or play a 10th inning. The runner placed at second base at the start of each half inning must be the player (or the substitute for the player) in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s lead-off hitter. If that happens to be the pitcher, the runner at second must be the player preceding the pitcher in the batting order.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.

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