Major League Baseball has approved a dugout signal for an intentional walk, which will take effect for the 2017 season, according to ESPN’s Howard Bryant.
This means the four throws outside of the strike zone to intentionally walk a batter will no longer be necessary for pitchers. A team can now signal to the umpire its intention to walk a batter and immediately send him to first base.
Last season, 932 intentional walks were issued in 2,427 games. It is estimated that this change could save 14.3 seconds per game.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has been a big proponent for helping move forward the pace of play in baseball.