MIAMI — MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says more rule changes are needed to improve the pace of play, and one proposal under consideration is a limitation on relief pitching changes in an inning or a game.
The majors shaved several minutes off the average game time last season, but games have been slightly longer in 2016.
“We’ve slipped back a little bit this year, and pace of play is one of those issues where we’re going to continually need to evaluate the rules we have,” Manfred said. “And we’re going to need to continually work with our players to stay focused on the issue.”
Manfred has said he’s in favor of a limitation on relief pitchers but didn’t lobby for it Wednesday.
“We look at all aspects of the game all the time,” he said. “I don’t want to put particular emphasis on that one.”
Manfred spoke at the Phillies’ game at Marlins Park, where he helped unveil the logo for the 2017 All-Star Game. It will be played next July 11, with the Marlins hosting the game in their 25th season.
“Miami is going to be a great venue,” Manfred said. “We had a wonderful experience in San Diego, and I know Miami is going to top that.”
The game in San Diego two weeks ago included a record-breaking effort by the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton to win the Home Run Derby.
“It was a truly awesome performance,” Manfred said. “I was actually there for BP, and for those who didn’t get there early, they missed a good part of the show.”
Manfred also praised the Marlins’ Ichiro Suzuki, who began the day three hits shy of 3,000.
“For Ichiro to be able to have 3,000 hits in major league baseball after the fantastic and long career he had in Japan is just a tremendous, historic accomplishment,” Manfred said.