2023 Major League Baseball season is off to a start


Mingyu Kim belts a pitch as his teammates look on from the dugout as Moorpark College takes on Los Angeles Pierce College on Thursday, March 9, 2023, in Moorpark, Calif. Kim went two for three at the plate and had two walks to help Moorpark defeat Pierce 12-2. Photo credit: Mary Maki

By Briana Cruz

Following a busy period of spring training, the 2023 MLB season is off to a start.

On Feb. 24 the MLB spring training season kicked off with two games opening up the pre-season. Spring training, which precedes the MLB season, allows athletes and coaches to train and finalize their team rosters.

The 2022 MLB season concluded with the Houston Astros being crowned the World Champions. Looking to improve their chances at victory, this year’s teams have been prepping for the season and making trades to augment their rosters.

According to NBC Sports, the Chicago Cubs had the most signings over the off-season, signing big names such as Cody Bellinger (former Los Angeles Dodger) and Dansby Swanson (former Atlanta Brave).

In addition to bolstering team rosters, the 2023 spring training season introduced new rules that will be in effect for the regular season. These new rules are intended to help shorten the games and appease fans nationwide.

One of the most significant changes introduced will ban the shift, a practice that has stirred controversy within the baseball community in recent years. By allowing players to “shift” from their traditional positions, the shift provided a strong advantage to teams on the defense and lowered batting averages for teams on the offense.

According to ESPN, the league-wide batting average in 2022 was .243, the lowest batting average since 1968. Statisticians within the sports community cite the shift as the underlying factor for this frowned upon pattern.

Another new rule for the 2023 season is the pitch clock, which will limit the time a pitcher and batter have to prepare before the continuation of the game. Now, pitchers will only have 15 seconds to throw a pitch with empty bases and 20 seconds with runners on bases. Other rules include a limitation on pickoffs (throwing a ball to a base to tag a runner out), bigger bases to reduce injury and a restriction on position players pitching.

These added and revised rules are expected to be enforced with consequences such as penalties for the violating team. Previously, these rules were introduced in the minor leagues and they are now making their way to the collegiate level.

Moorpark College baseball player Chase Aurand spoke about the new rules and how they aren’t necessarily helpful for the Raiders’ baseball team.

“To be honest they [the rules] are made to speed the game up but they only make the game longer,” Aurand said. “Batters are forced to get into the box faster than ever speeding up their mind and creating the hardest thing to do in any sport harder.”

Spring training and the recent changes in longstanding MLB procedures have been all the talk within the baseball community. How these developments will be implemented and the impact they may have on the efficiency and excitement of the games will soon be palpable.

March 30 marks the the MLB opening day during which all 30 MLB teams will commence their official season. For a full opening day schedule, click here.

To view the full schedule for the Moorpark College baseball team’s 2023 season, click here.