As national league champs, the Yucatán Leones begin their season Friday with an away game against the Bravos de León. The first home game of the season is the following Wednesday against the Guerreros de Oaxaca.
And they will all be nine-inning games, the Mexican Baseball League announced.
In an effort to speed up games, the Mexican league last year tested out a seven-inning format on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Now, the league is testing a pitch clock similar to the MLB’s in the United States.
Major League Baseball shaved 30 minutes off the game by reducing the time between pitches to 15 seconds. In Mexico, it’s even tougher on the mound. It’s a 12-second limit for pitchers here.
The result: Preseason games this year have been, on average, 45 minutes shorter at 2:43.
Just like in the States, any Mexican League pitcher who fails to begin his windup before the timer runs out will be charged with a ball in favor of the batter.
Also, under the revised rules, managers and coaches in the Mexican league have just 30 seconds for mound visits. Stalling on the mound to give the relief pitcher extra time in the bullpen is likely a thing of the past. Teams will have two minutes between innings to warm up.