Commissioner Rob Manfred is exploring different ways to shorten baseball games, and it seems taking away the four-pitch aspect of an intentional walk is one of those ways.
A signal to the dugout will now do the trick, taking away an interesting possibility that once plagued the Marlins. Miguel Cabrera turned a lazy pitch during an intentional walk into an RBI single. Former Miami reliever Steve Cishek overthrew his target during an intentional walk and it resulted in a Marlins loss.
Dustin Ackley scored as one of Cishek’s pitches sailed wide in the 10th inning in a loss the Mariners in June 2011:
It was a day to forget for the Marlins and for Cishek, but it’s clear throwing the four pitches has an effect on the game. Take the good with the bad, but taking away the four pitches will clearly take away from the game. Remember that when Don Mattingly motions to the umpire for the first time in 2017.