EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Fans flocked back to Fenway Park for Opening Day, and those watching the game there or at home may have noticed some new rules in play. How to you feel about the changes like the pitch clock and limits on infield shifts?

Weigh in with our instant poll below, and see what other fans think about the rules. Below the poll, you can learn more about the changes for this season.

The New Rules

Pitch Clock

Pitchers will have 15 seconds to throw a pitch, 20 seconds when a runner is on base. Hitters must be ready to hit in the batter’s box by the time the pitch clock reaches eight seconds.

Bigger Bases

The bases are 3 inches bigger — from 15 inches to 18 inches. The increase in the size of the bases is expected to increase stolen bases while reducing injuries.

Infield Shift

This means two players must be on each side of the infield. At the time a pitch is thrown, all four infielders are required to be on the infield dirt (or infield grass) with two on each side of second base. Players are only able to move as soon as the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.


Pickoffs are a version of a “disengagement,” which is any time the pitcher makes a pickoff attempt, fakes a pickoff, or steps off the rubber for any reason. Or, when the defense requests time. Pitchers are allowed two disengagements per plate appearance without penalty. The disengagements rule resets if a runner advances a base within the same plate appearance. It is enforced after a third step-off by the pitcher, who will then be charged with a balk, unless at least one offensive player advances a base or an out is made on the ensuing play after the step off.