Fitzgerald Cecilio - 4E Sports Reporter
Phoenix, AZ, United States (4E Sports) - Major League Baseball will implement just one notable rule change this season -- an automatic intentional walk, according to commissioner Rob Manfred.
In a press conference that opened the Cactus League Spring Training Media Day, Manfred expressed disappointment that Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark turned down major revisions that will help speed up pace of play.
"Unfortunately, it now appears there really won't be any meaningful rule change for the 2017 season due to a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA ," Manfred said.
On the latest rule change on intentional walks, managers will signal from the dugout to have the hitter take first base instead of lobbing four pitches to a catcher.
Baseball's new labor agreement gives Manfred the right to unilaterally implement rule changes during the next offseason in time for Opening Day 2018.
Among the possible changes: a 20-second pitch clock that has been used in the Minor Leagues, limiting trips to the mound and raising the strike zone.
Manfred will also experiment in the Minors the suggestion that a runner be placed on second base at the start of extra innings.
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