BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Major League Baseball has made formal proposals to the players union with potential changes to intentional walks and strike zones in an effort to improve the pace of play and generate more offense.
Since 1996, the bottom of the strike zone has been defined as “the hollow beneath the kneecap.” The leagues proposal would raise the lower part of the zone to the top of the hitter’s knees.
Raising the strike zone about two inches could lead to more favorable counts for hitters and more well-hit balls in play, increasing offense.
The change in the intentional-walk rule would end the practice of requiring the pitcher to toss four pitches outside the strike zone. Instead, a team could just signify it wants to issue an intentional walk, and the hitter would be sent directly to first base.
No rule changes can be made without the MLBPA’s approval, but spring training starts in just three weeks.
MLB and the MLBPA will want any new rules in place by the start of Grapefruit League and Cactus League play so players could get used them before the regular season.
You can read more on the proposal here.