Monday, May 29 2023

Major League Baseball‘s 2023 opening day is here.

We’ll see the debut of overhauled rosters, players in new uniforms, young players trying to prove their worth and veterans wanting to show they’ve still got it. We’ll also see the rule changes play out in regular-season games for the first time.

All 30 teams are in action Thursday, and USA TODAY Sports will provide the latest score updates, analysis and more throughout the day. Follow along.

  • Braves at Nationals, 1:05 p.m., MLB Network

  • Giants at Yankees, 1:05 p.m., YES

  • Orioles at Red Sox, 2:10 p.m., NESN

  • Brewers at Cubs, 2:20 p.m., MARQ

  • Tigers at Rays, 3:10 p.m., BSSUN

  • Phillies at Rangers, 4:05 p.m., BSSW

  • Rockies at Padres, 4:10 p.m., BSSD

  • Blue Jays at Cardinals, 4:10 p.m., BSMW

  • Mets at Marlins, 4:10 p.m., MLB Network

  • Pirates at Reds, 4:10 p.m., BSOH

  • Twins at Royals, 4:10 p.m., BSKC

  • White Sox at Astros, 7:08 p.m., SportsNet SW

  • Angels at Athletics, 10:07 p.m., NBCS-CA

  • Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m., SportsNet LA

  • Guardians at Mariners, 10:10 p.m., MLB Network

The new shift rule: At the start of each pitch, teams must have at least two infielders on either side of second base, with all four positioned on the infield dirt. Infielders may not switch positions unless there is a substitution.

Pitch clock: There is a 30-second timer between batters and a time limit between pitches. After receiving the ball from the catcher or umpire, pitchers are required to begin their motion within 15 seconds with the bases empty or within 20 seconds with runners on base. Hitters must be in the batter’s box and ready for the pitch by the time the clock reaches 8 seconds.

Larger bases: The bases are now 18 inches square (previously 15 inches). That decreases the distance between first, second and third base by 4.5 inches. (Home plate – which stays the same size – to first base is 3 inches shorter.)

Pickoff limits: Pitchers are limited to a maximum of two pickoff attempts per plate appearance. If a pitcher attempts a third pickoff throw and doesn’t get the runner out, it’s an automatic balk and all runners move up one base. — Steve Gardner

Read more on everything you need to know about the rule changes here.

  • Braves LHP Max Fried (14-7, 2.48 ERA in 2022) vs. Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin (6-19, 6.31)

  • Giants RHP Logan Webb (15-9, 2.90) vs. Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole (13-8, 3.50)

  • Orioles RHP Kyle Gibson (10-8, 5.05 with Phillies) vs. Red Sox RHP Corey Kluber (10-10, 4.34 with Rays)

  • Brewers RHP Corbin Burnes (12-8, 2.94) vs. Cubs RHP Marcus Stroman (6-7, 3.50)

  • Tigers LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (5-5, 4.05) vs. Rays LHP Shane McClanahan (12-8, 2.54)

  • Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25) vs. Rangers RHP Jacob deGrom (5-4, 3.08 with Mets)

  • Mets RHP Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.29) vs. Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara (14-9, 2.28)

  • Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (5-12, 3.91) vs. Reds RHP Hunter Greene (5-13, 4.44)

  • Rockies RHP German Marquez (9-13, 4.95) vs. Padres LHP Blake Snell (8-10, 3.38)

  • Blue Jays RHP Alek Manoah (16-7, 2.24) vs. Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (12-13, 3.29)

  • Twins RHP Pablo Lopez (10-10, 3.75) vs. Royals RHP Zack Greinke (4-9, 3.68)

  • White Sox RHP Dylan Cease (14-8, 2.20) vs. Astros LHP Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82)

  • Angels RHP Shohei Ohtani (15-9, 2.33 ERA) vs. A’s LHP Kyle Muller (1-1, 8.03 with Braves)

  • Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen (12-4, 2.54 ERA) vs. Dodgers LHP Julio Urías (17-7, 2.16 ERA)

  • Guardians RHP Shane Bieber (13-8, 2.88 ERA) vs. Mariners RHP Luis Castillo (8-6 2.99 ERA)

The way Roger Clemens, the seven-time Cy Young winner, figures it, he would be an even better pitcher now with the pitch clock.

“I would have used it to my advantage,’’ Clemens said recently. “Back in my day, if you got ahead of a guy 0-and-2, you’d waste a pitch. I’d just hold it and get a pitch clock violation. Now, I’ve got him 1-and-2, and I’d just stand on the mound holding the ball. They wouldn’t know when I was going to throw the next one not. I could even get a second violation and make it 2-and-2. I’d have a huge advantage with the hitter not knowing when I was going to throw that ball. “I called 90 to 95% of my pitches anyway, so I never would have felt rushed with a pitch clock.’ — Bob Nightengale

MLB sent memo to teams detailing adjustments to new rules

Major League Baseball, after listening to input from players and managers, made a series of adjustments to their new rules that will go into effect this year, but the pitch clock remains the same, according to a memo sent to clubs last week that was obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

The clarifications were made largely to prevent clubs from circumventing rules on instant replays involving the shift, fake PitchCom malfunctions, providing hitters time to collect themselves after being knocked down or taking a particularly large cut, and reducing an advantage pitchers could have after a batter timeout.

Read Bob Nightengale on the rule tweaks here.

As Major League Baseball’s 2023 season dawns, USA TODAY Sports examines five players who may not take home any individual hardware, but whose teams’ success may hinge on their health and production.

Yankees’ Nestor Cortes: The game moves quickly at the big league level, both between the lines and in a team’s pecking order. For Nestor Cortes, the 5-10 Yankees left-hander, he’s no longer the surprise All-Star, the nice little story of persevering through nearly eight years of minor league ball and organization hopping to stick in New York.

Astros’ Kyle Tucker: It is not Tucker’s team to inherit. But now would be time to take that next step toward MVP candidate.All the tools are there: Tucker, at 25, slugged 30 home runs and produced a 128 adjusted OPS last season, and smacked two homers in Game 1 of the World Series. His 129 weighted runs created plus put him in a rent district with Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Mets’ Starling Marte: When Marte is healthy, few are better, as he showed last year. Heck, he played through not just the finger but also quadricep and groin ailments, the latter requiring postseason surgery. On a team where six everyday players are at least 30 and three starting pitchers between 36 and 40, maintenance will be crucial. Getting their All-Star right fielder to October – when he turns 35 – might be most important.

Cubs’ Dansby Swanson: It’s imperative he show that the 26 homers he averaged his final two seasons in Atlanta is his new normal. That his only season as an above league-average hitter – that would be 2022 – is a harbinger of future production and not an apex. And that quarterbacking a five-time division winner lends itself to reshaping the culture in Chicago, a place they once expected to win, too.

Padres’ Blake Snell: A groin injury to start the season limited Snell to 24 starts, but he struck out 171 in 128 innings. With Darvish idled and Joe Musgrove nearing a return from a toe injury, it is Snell who will lead the charge to start this year. At the end, he will be a free agent, heading to the market for the first time and with agent Scott Boras in tow. — Gabe Lacques

Instead of trying to make logical sense of everything this opening day, let’s allow our minds to wander and consider some (admittedly long-shot) predictions that could define the 2023 season. Maybe Trea Turner stealing 65 bases, Shohei Ohtani sweeping AL MVP and Cy Young, Brandon Belt hitting 30 dingers for the first time and more.

Steve Gardner

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB Opening Day 2023: Live updates, scores, rule changes info and more

Source: Yahoo Sports


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