Major league hitters are being reminded that any attempted circumvention of pitch timer rules to gain an advantage will result in a violation, according to a memo sent to MLB teams and obtained by ESPN on Wednesday.
The clarification comes in light of Boston Red Sox pitcher Kenley Jansen being assessed two violations in the span of four pitches Saturday after St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Willson Contreras got into a hitting position with one foot in and one foot out of the batter’s box.
Contreras raised his bat and engaged with Jansen with more than the required eight seconds remaining on the clock to be in the box. In seeing this, Jansen came to a set position, which led to the quick pitch violations.
From now on, when a batter gets into a hitting position and engages with the pitcher, with one or both feet out of the box, he’ll be warned and then assessed a strike on subsequent violations, according to the memo.
Chronic offenders will be subject to further discipline by the commissioner’s office. Teams were informed in early March that pitchers were prohibited from quick pitching, while this clarification restricts batters from inducing such action.
Pitchers must continue to be aware of the position of the batter and identify when he is “appropriately” in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher before the pitcher begins the windup or comes set, according to the memo.
MLB memo warns hitters not to circumvent pitch timer rules