Photo Credit: CBS Detroit – CBS Local
The MLB has announced a change to the preexisting intentional walk rule that will take effect starting in this upcoming 2017 season.
In an effort to speed up the games, there will now be a dugout signal for an intentional walk that will save the pitcher from having to throw four meaningless pitches to the batter to put him on first base, which was what pitchers previously had to do in order to do so.
Last season, there were 932 intentional walks in 2,430 regular season games. This is equivalent to roughly 0.38 intentional walks per game, or 1 intentional walk every 2.61 games. While this may not drastically speed games up since intentional walks are so rare, the time saved will add up over the course of a season.