Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Spring Training games this year are going to include new MLB rules that will be implemented during the 2023 season, but Clayton Kershaw is among the Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers who don’t hold much concern over the changes.
“There’s so many new rules,” Kershaw said on his first day at Camelback Ranch. “I honestly couldn’t even tell you what they are now. I just know we have a shot clock, or whatever you want to call it. I’m going to try and not get a shot clock violation. That’s really all I know.
“There’s no shifts either. I don’t know, hit ground balls where people aren’t now. I don’t know. Somebody will tell me at some point what to do. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and if it’s wrong, somebody will tell me.”
Kershaw added he did not factor in the pitch timer when completing his offseason throwing program.
“I’m assuming somebody will tell me if I don’t go fast enough,” he said. “And if I don’t go fast enough, I’ll have to work on it. But as far as I know, I think I’m fast enough. I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Last season, Kershaw averaged 16 seconds in pitch tempo when the bases were empty. That increased 22.9 seconds with a runner on.
However, utilizing pitch tempo to gauge how Kershaw will fare with the timer is not an exact science. Pitch tempo is the time between pitch releases; it starts as soon as the pitcher releases the previous pitch and ends when the next one is thrown.
The MLB pitch clock will start once the pitcher receives the return throw from the catcher and ends when his delivery begins.
Under the new MLB rule, a pitcher must begin his motion before the expiration of a 15-second timer, or 20 seconds with at least one runner on base. There will also be a 30-second clock for pitchers between batters.
Clayton Kershaw enjoyed healthy offseason
Unlike after the 2021 season, Kershaw enjoyed a healthy winter as he quickly re-signed with the Dodgers on another one-year contract.
“I felt great going into it and felt like I was in a good spot all offseason, and got to work on some stuff,” he said. “I feel good coming in (to Spring Training).”
Kershaw is among the several Dodgers who are participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
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