Tigers open 2023 season on the road, face new rules
Tigers fans will have to wait a bit to see action at Comerica Park.
DETROIT (WILX) - The end of March brings the start of baseball season. While Opening Day in Detroit is an unofficially official statewide holiday, Tigers fans will have to wait a bit to see action at Comerica Park.
The Tigers open the 2023 season on the road with three games against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday before traveling to Houston to face the Astros on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. They then open at home on Thursday, hosting the Boston Red Sox.
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Last year, the Tigers finished 4th in the AL Central with a record of 66-96.
This season brings some new rules to the game, most notably the pitch clock. Pitchers will face a 30-second timer between batters and a time limit between pitches. Upon receiving the ball from the catcher or umpire, pitchers must start their motion within 15 seconds if the bases are empty or within 20 seconds if there are runners on base. If they violate the rule, they’re charged with an automatic ball.
Additionally, the bases will be bigger. Bases are now 18 inches when they were previously 15 inches. The change decreases the distance between first, second, and third base by 4.5 inches. Home plate stays the same size, meaning the distance to first base is 3 inches shorter.
While the move may help with getting more stolen bases, and helping to generate more excitement during play, there’s also a safety aspect. The runner will have less distance to cover to make it to a base safely, upping their odds of successfully stealing a base. In addition, the larger bases will likely help decrease the chance of a collision between a fielder and a runner, which could result in injury to both.
The season is sure to be a memorable one for fans as it will be Miguel Cabrera’s final year. While Cabrera, who turns 40 on April 18, is taking his final lap, fans are keeping an eye on 23-year-old Spencer Torkelson, the first overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
First pitch on Thursday is at 3:10 p.m. with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez facing Tampa’s “young ace” Shane McClanahan.
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