Over at MinorLeagueBaseball.com a few days ago, Sam Dykstra wrote an article describing the successful implementation of the 20-second pitch clock at the Double-A and Triple-A minor league levels in 2015. The change resulted in a 16-minute reduction of game time in the International League, 13 minutes in the Pacific Coast League, 12 minutes in the Eastern League, 10 minutes in the Southern League, and six minutes in the Texas League.
In contrast, game times at the lower levels not using the pitch clock declined by only one minute on average this season.
The pitch clock experiment was first tried in the Arizona Fall League last year and was successful enough to extend into the upper minors this year. "We're encouraged by the results we saw," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. "We liked the initial returns from the Fall League and wanted to try it on a bit of a broader scale. We feel that the results in the Minors were encouraging." Asked if the pitch clock can be brought forward to the majors, Manfred said "Whether or not it's viable will be a product of negotiations."
My personal view is that the pitch clock should be brought forward to the major leagues. From a game observer perspective, the difference was notable in the Pacific Coast League games I attended this year, a quite welcome difference on hot and humid evenings or cold and blustery ones. I imagine the same would be true for the players on the field, though whether the MLBPA will agree is unclear.
Assuming the union goes along, it shouldn't be a hard thing to implement and the plan to do so is obvious: start using it in A-ball and rookie ball in 2016, then move the concept into MLB in 2017 with a grace period in April as players adjust.
What do you guys think? Should the pitch clock be used in the majors?