MLB games could look far different next year.
According to ESPN's Jesse Rogers, the sport's competition committee will vote on key rule changes that would go into effect next year. They most notably include a pitch clock and restrictions on defensive shifting.
Rogers said the changes are expected to pass.
The proposed pitch clock would be 15 seconds with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on base. A ball will be called if the pitcher doesn't throw the pitch before the timer -- which begins once he receives the baseball from the catcher or umpire -- runs out.
The pitcher stepping off a third time without a pick-off throw will result in a balk. Meanwhile, a strike will get called if the hitter isn't ready in the batter's box with eight seconds remaining.
These timers, already implemented in minor league games this season, aim to speed up the games.
As for the shift, the defense must have four players (excluding the pitcher and catcher) on the infield dirt, and two must be on each side of second base. A hitting team can choose to uphold an outcome or call a ball if a pitch is thrown with an illegal defensive alignment.
Unlike any pitch-clock violations, all shift infractions are reviewable. While eliminating shifting takes some strategy out of the game, it will generate extra offense beyond home runs.
The competition committee will also vote on using bigger bases to reduce injuries and increase stolen base attempts.