New in 2023 is a pitch clock. For both pitchers and batters adjustments are being made during spring training. However, there are lots of various scenarios that we have not yet seen. On Tuesday we saw another situation unfold as Andrew McCutchen, who has returned to the Pirates organization after tenures with the Giants, Phillies, Yankees, and Brewers, had to call “time” in order to avoid a pitch clock violation during a crowd ovation.
The pitch clock/timer gives pitchers 15 seconds to throw a pitch with the bases empty and 20 seconds with a runner on base. If a pitcher has not started the motion of pitching before the clock expires, a ball will be issued. On the contrary, batters have to be engaging the pitcher with at least eight seconds left on the clock and can only call “time” once per plate appearance.
Andrew McCutchen has to call “time” in order to avoid pitch clock violation during crowd ovation.
Andrew McCutchen has to use his time out so he can acknowledge the ovation without being given an automatic strike. 😂 pic.twitter.com/LjqgxhnlWN
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) March 7, 2023
It’s hard to imagine that going forward a player won’t be able to take in a moment to enjoy a crowd giving an ovation without having to call “time”. Whether it’s a player making their last appearance in a stadium, the crowd acknowledging great play, or something else, players should be able to enjoy those situations when they arise.
Thankfully for Andrew McCutchen this occurred to him during a spring training game and not his first game back at PNC Park. How these scenarios unfold during the regular season will be something to monitor, but so far MLB has been pretty strict by not allowing exemptions to the new rules that they are putting into action this year.