Detroit Tigers return home to bigger bases, pitch clock, and a smaller Comerica Park
DETROIT (FOX 2) - The 2023 Major League Baseball season will look a little different for teams this year - and even more different for the Detroit Tigers.
The league's new rules have already been put into action since the season started last week. As for the Tigers, they'll get their first shot inside a modified Comerica Park today when they tee off against the Boston Red Sox.
In an attempt to speed up the game, the MLB has created a new pitch clock, new infield rules, and bigger bases. In Detroit, Comerica Park has shrunk its outfield and installed new LED lights.
MORE: How to watch the Tigers' Opening Day game
All of this will be on display when the first pitch is thrown at 1:10 p.m. Find out everything you need to know about Opening Day here.
New Comerica Park dimensions
When fans return to Comerica Park, they'll find the walls moved in several feet.
That means fewer doublers and triples and more home runs inside what's been considered a very pitcher-friendly baseball field. Well-known sluggers like Miguel Cabrera can rejoice in the potential scoring that could come in Detroit.
It could also mean more robbed homeruns since the wall will be lowered.
The dimension changes include:
- Moving the center field wall in by 10 feet and lowering the height to seven feet
- Right field and left field won't be affected by the changes. However, the measurements are going to be more accurate. The team said the left field corner will be relabeled from 345 feet to 342
New Major League Baseball rules
Baseball rarely changes its rules. The sport has prided itself on being a constant in a sea of change.
But nothing lasts forever and the MLB's new rules which were approved last year have officially been introduced into the game.
Pitchers will now be on the clock each time they throw the ball. When no one is on base, a pitcher will have 15 seconds to throw the ball. When there is someone on base, pitchers will have 20 seconds.
Hitters will also be required to be in the batt'er box with eight seconds on the clock.
The change was made to shorten the length of the game. Games have gotten longer on average since 2014.
The MLB has bigger bases this year, increasing the size from 15 inches to 18 inches. The change may feel small, but every inch counts in baseball.
The change could increase the number of stolen bases while reducing injuries.
Pickoffs, fake pickoffs, or when a pitcher steps off the base will now be limited each game for pitchers, who will be allowed two of these attempts per plate appearance.
The change was made to make the game more exciting after the league noticed an increase in the amount of time where inaction is present during a game.
When a pitch is thrown, teams will be required to have all four infield players in the infield with two on each side of second base. They can move as soon as the pitch is thrown.
The change was made after the league's batting average last season was the lowest in decades.