Monday, January 14, 2013

Baseball owners approve a few notable rule changes for 2013 season

Meetings at the mound could become slightly
more crowded next season
Baseball owners tentatively approved a few rule changes last week which will wind end up impacting the Reds. Although nothing is official until the players' union approves the changes, it is assumed that they will, and the rules will then be implemented in time for the 2013 season.

Here are the three rules set to go into effect, according to ESPN:

1) Coaches and managers will be able to bring interpreters to the mound for conferences with players who don't speak fluent English.

2) Teams will be permitted to have a seventh coach in uniform, in the dugout, during games. Previously, clubs were allowed to have just six coaches dressed for a game. But with numerous teams adding a second hitting coach for this year, clubs pushed for permission to have a seventh coach in uniform, and owners agreed.

3) The fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move would now be considered a balk. Baseball's Playing Rules Committee voted last year to outlaw the trick move, but the union vetoed that change temporarily, pending further discussion. It seems as though the players will agree to the new rule this time around, though.

How does this impact the Reds? Well, for starters it should definitely help with the communications between pitchers, catchers, and coaches. The Reds have several Spanish-speaking players on their current roster including Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman, and Jose Arredondo, who haven't quite mastered the English language yet. The club also has a few up-and-coming prospects such as Daniel Corcino who aren't fluent in English, but are likely to be with the Reds one day.

As far as the second rule goes, the Reds added Ronnie Ortegon last month to be the assistant hitting coach. Thanks to the new rule, Ortegon will be allowed to be amongst the players during games.

The third proposed rule will have an equal impact on all teams, obviously. I for one am glad to see the "trick" move be finally banned. Not only does it not work, but it slows the flow of the game down as well. Fun fact: the Reds balked the third-most times of any NL pitching staff last year (7).

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