Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers got their first look at the new rule changes in their 2023 Spring Training opener against the Milwaukee Brewers, which include a pitch timer, restrictions on defensive shifts and larger bases.
The size of first, second and third base increased from the standard 15″ square to an 18″ square, and the distance between them was reduced to 4.5″.
“I know, it’s crazy. It’s more easy, to be honest, to hit the base and everything because you don’t have to be worried too much about hitting in the middle or something,” David Peralta said of the bigger bases. “When you see the huge extra large pizza box in there, it’s easier to hit.”
MLB made the changes to the bases in hopes of improving player safety and encouraging teams to steal more frequently. Throughout testing in the Minor Leagues, base-related injuries decreased by 13.5% and stolen base attempts skyrocketed.
The Dodgers also benefitted from the pitch clock as Peralta drew a walk due to a violation on Alex Claudio with a full count. “It’s different, but you got to adjust to it,” Peralta said of the experience.
“You got to adjust to whatever the rules are. But like I said, it was different. This is the first game so we’ll see how it’s going to be.
“But I got told that was a violation and I’m like, ‘OK, I got the walk.’ It was going to be ball four anyways, but who knows if I would have swung at the pitch. But it’s good. It’s OK. You just have to move on.”
In addition to the pitch timer, hitters must be in the batter’s box with at least eight seconds remaining on the clock. “For me, not really, because I’m not a type of guy that takes my time and everything,” Peralta said when asked if the rule has forced him to change his approach.
“I’m just like, ‘I’m in the box. I’m just wanting to do my business.’ That’s it. And I don’t take too much time, so it was normal.
“There’s sometimes where I have to get back really quick, but not a big difference for me. I know from other guys that like to take the time, to breathe and everything, maybe something hard for them. But it was fine.”
David Peralta felt ‘good’ in first game with Dodgers
Saturday’s game against the Brewers was Peralta’s first since undergoing offseason back surgery. He started in left field and batted cleanup, going 0-for-2 with a walk. “Good,” Peralta said when asked how he felt physically.
“I don’t know if you saw me running. I was running all over. First, third, and feels good. Feels good. It feels really good. So we’re going to be ready for [Sunday].”
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