Which Blue Jays will benefit most from each of MLB's new rules in 2023?

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New Rule: Pitch Clock

Pitchers will now be limited to 15 seconds between pitches with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on. Additionally, batters must be ready to hit with no less than 8 seconds remaining on the pitch clock. A violation by pitchers will result in an automatic ball, and by batters, an automatic strike.

Who will this impact?

It’s difficult to be sure how the pitch clock will impact the game, beyond a prediction of potential chaos as players get used to it. However, it seems probable that pitchers who like to work fast will have an advantage, both because they will be less impacted by the pitch clock, and because batters will no longer be able to disrupt their timing.

  • José Berríos
    Pitch tempo, bases empty - 15.4 seconds (34th)
    Pitch tempo, men on base - 20.9 seconds (36th)

By far the fastest worker on the Jays, and in fact the only member of the staff with above average tempo last year, pace in attack is a large part of José Berríos’ game. Add to this the fact that he possesses the best pickoff move on the team, and at very least, he seems equipped to work within the new pitch clock and stolen base rules. Many are predicting a big bounce back from Berríos in 2023; perhaps the new rules will be a significant part of it.

  • Yusei Kikuchi
    Pitch tempo, Bases empty – 19.9s (285th)
    Pitch tempo, men on base – 24.4s (275th)

Yusei Kikuchi is one of the slowest workers in the league. Anecdotally, it often seemed last year like he was overthinking things on the mound, getting in his own head and losing confidence. Conversely, the few times he did seem able to get into a rhythm, he was actually pretty good. Will being forced by the pitch clock to work faster get him out of his own head and into a groove more often?

  • Bonus: Vladdy (… again)

With pitchers having to rush because of the pitch clock, and under more stress with runners on from new steals-related rules, it seems likely that they’ll make more mistakes. Did you know that Vladdy received one of the lowest percentages of “meatballs” (middle-middle pitches) in the league last year – only 6.5%, 20th lowest among qualified batters. For good reason, pitchers are careful with him. If more mistakes are coming, well, we’ve all seen what Vladdy can do with a meatball …

Next. Does latest news mean Kikuchi has the inside job to No. 5 spot?. dark