MLB has tweaked the format for Monday night's Home Run Derby at Great American Ballpark due to the weather, the league announced.
Each batter will now have four minutes instead of five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, and the timer will no longer stop in the final minute when a home run is hit. Additionally, the bonus time for home run distance will not exceed thirty seconds. Players were originally going to be awarded a minute of bonus time for hitting two home runs that equal or exceed 425 feet in one round. They will still be allowed to take a 45-second timeout per round.
A league spokesperson told SI.com earlier Monday that the league was “monitoring” the weather situation in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati experienced strong thunderstorms on Monday afternoon in the hours before the Derby’s scheduled 8 p.m. ET start time. As of early Monday evening, The Weather Channel predicts a 0% chance of rain until 11 p.m., when the percentage jumps to a 55% chance of scattered strong thunderstorms.
Earlier in the day, certain alternatives were discussed in the event the rain kept the event from happening at all on Monday.
If Home run Derby is rained out today, thought is to try to do it tomorrow in the early afternoon— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 13, 2015
Last year’s Home Run Derby was delayed for approximately an hour due to rain before beginning. The only time the Derby has been canceled in its 30-year history was in 1988, also in Cincinnati.