Players from 10 KBO League teams who spent their inactive days through rest and training will start their spring camp on Feb. 1. It is a precious time for both the team and the players to fill in what they lack.
Unlike previous years, both players and coaching staff have a lot to prepare for this spring camp. This is because it is necessary to prepare for the new system that will be introduced from the 2024 season. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) finally confirmed the application of ABS (automatic pitch determination system) this season through its first board meeting in 2024 on the 11th, and decided to introduce major systems such as pitch clock and base size expansion sequentially.
The biggest change is history or introduction of ABS and pitch clock. KBO will apply this season’s ABS standard by expanding 2cm on both sides of home plate. KBO explains that it will minimize trial and error in the field due to sudden change in zones.
The criteria for the upper and lower parts of the home plate are judged as strikes only when the ball meets the upper and lower height criteria at two points, the middle and end of the home plate. Regardless of the catcher’s port position and method, whether or not the ball passes by meeting the left and right and upper and lower standards determines the strike or ball. In addition, the upper and lower parts are applied based on the ratio of height of each player, and 56.35% and 27.64% of the player’s height are the criteria, respectively.헤라카지노주소
Peach clock, which aims to shorten game time and speed up, will be applied to the Futures League from the first half, and will be piloted in the first half. Based on this, KBO plans to decide whether to introduce pitch clock in the second half of the first division.
KBO finalized the KBO League pitch clock rule last year by analyzing detailed indicators, including a survey of average pitching intervals among pitchers in the Korean league. Under the first half of the year’s pilot operation, players who violate the rule will be given a warning not to apply sanctions such as balls or strikes. In addition, restrictions on departure from the pitch board, such as restriction on checks, do not apply.
The time limit between pitches is 18 seconds (15 seconds based on MLB) when the runner is not on the base and 23 seconds (20 seconds based on MLB). Pitchers should pitch within 30 seconds between batters (between at-bats), and catchers should be positioned in the forward position until the remaining nine seconds of pitch clock are left. The batter should be ready to hit by eight seconds left. If this is violated, a ball is declared on the defense side and a strike is declared on the offensive side.
There are various opinions among players who are about to change the system, but it is true that there are many voices of concern. It is not easy for veterans who have played professionally for more than 10 years to accept sudden changes.
Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG Landers) said, “I don’t know because I haven’t experienced it yet, but I think there are rules that are disadvantageous to pitchers,” adding, “The first reason for implementing pitch clock is to shorten the time, so isn’t the rule that is disadvantageous to pitchers applied?”
Lee Yong-chan of the NC Dinos also said, “I’ve thought a lot about (different systems), but I think pitchers will have a hard time. Peach clock is also pitch clock, but I’m worried about robot referees,” adding, “I’ve never experienced it before. I’ll have to go to the spring camp to see, but I think it’ll probably be hard for pitchers and all the stats will get worse.”
Yang Hyun-jong (KIA Tigers), who holds the title of “the most active pitcher” with 168 wins in his career, has a similar opinion.
“Pitchers will always think negatively about the system being introduced,” Yang told reporters at the departure hall of Incheon International Airport’s Passenger Terminal 1. “The strike zone is always constant, but of course it will be smaller than the zone they have experienced so far. They will also feel pressure about the pitch clock. I’m sure it is the same for young players and inexperienced players.”
“Pitch clock is a system for speed-up, and it is questionable whether the duration of the game will be reduced or not. You have to throw the ball in the desired balance in order to have a higher chance of throwing a strike, but if you are under pressure due to time, you have negative thoughts about whether you can put the ball in the strike zone or whether you can throw powerful balls. I think pitchers will have a hard time,” he added.
Yang Hyun-jong, who measured the time by watching his pitch video, said, “It was a little close (compared to the KBO’s detailed operating regulations). It’s simply a comparison between amateur and professional, but when the ABS judged (amateur), there were more than 20 walks. Since the average figure has risen to an outrageous level, there will be a blow from the perspective of professional players as well.”
Teams and players who quickly adapt to the new system are likely to produce good results this season. Yang Hyun-jong, who has been active for nearly 20 years, is drawing attention to how he will look in the big changes.