Major League Baseball proposed two sets of rule changes on Monday to eliminate the four-pitch intentional walk and to raise the strike zone, according to ESPN. Both rules cannot be implemented until the players’ association approves it.
One source told ESPN for the rules to be put into effect this season, action would have to be taken “sooner rather than later.” The players’ union is still feeling out the rule changes, according to the report.
The proposal would raise the strike zone from the “hollow beneath the kneecap” to the top of the hitter’s knees — a full two inches. The report said that umpires have been calling strikes below the knees so consistently that the move would be a bit drastic to correct their mistakes.
To eliminate the intentional walk, the team would signify to the umpire that they want the hitter just to go to first base.
The rules are in part of Commissioner Rob Manfred’s “pace of action” initiative to make the game a bit faster.