Corbin Burnes has been very outspoken so far about the addition of the pitch clock this season. He has been aggressively pursuing an advantage with the rules that were established prior to the start of spring training. Now that opening day is two weeks away, Major League Baseball has altered the wording within the pitch clock rules. In a recent video, Burnes expressed his frustration after he learned of the new point of emphasis while out on the mound.
During the second inning today, Corbin Burnes learned of a new MLB point of emphasis sent out a few days ago: Pitchers can’t come set until the hitter is engaged.
— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) March 14, 2023
Corbin Burnes is frustrated with Major League Baseball altering pitch clock rules just two weeks prior to opening day.
When the pitch clock rules first came out, pitchers couldn’t throw the ball until the hitter fully engaged them. Hitter had, and still have, until eight seconds on the pitch clock to do this. With this wording, a pitcher could be set on the mound prior to the eight second mark and they could immediately throw once the hitter engaged them.
Some pitchers tried to exploit this by throwing as soon as the pitch clock reached eight seconds remaining. In theory, this isn’t a violation on the pitcher because the hitter had to be ready and engaged by that time anyway.
Major League Baseball’s response to this was to change the rule to say that pitchers can’t come set until the batter is fully engaged in the box. In the video, Burnes argues that this gives an advantage to the batter because it takes a pitcher a few seconds to become set, which then leaves pitchers with less time to deliver a pitch and less time to pause on the mound and play with a hitters timing.
Burnes goes onto say “The league has to do something to finalize these rules. Now that we are two weeks away from the season starting, we are still changing rules. That can’t happen.”