White Sox' Seby Zavala describes pitch clock ding he received in minors

Seby Zavala describes pitch clock ding he received in minors originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Seby Zavala is already familiar with the pitch clock.

Unfortunately, an umpire stuck out the White Sox catcher in the bottom of the ninth inning during a game in the minor leagues. He's hopeful it won't happen again.

"It was the bottom of the ninth," Zavala recounted. "I think we're down a run or maybe runner on or something. And I called time, thought I was in an appropriate spot to take as much time as I wanted. Apparently, the umpire didn't think so. Struck me out, and I kind of let him know that I didn't like the rules in a polite way. I wasn't going to leave that field until I got ejected."

In a similar situation during spring training this season, a tie game between the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves in the bottom of the ninth inning, with bases loaded, finished on a strikeout because of a violation on the batter.

Braves shortstop Cal Conley was called out for not being ready in the batter's box with eight seconds left in the pitch clock. MLB ascertained it was the correct call. Conley ran away thinking it was ball four, but was unfortunately called out on the violation.

This is the state of baseball in 2023.

The pitch clock is a very real thing, as umpires were instructed by MLB to provide no leeway on the call. Umpires will enforce the new rule strictly, as to add to the ongoing study of its effectiveness.

Most pitchers and batters will assure they have no issue with the clock. But, for those who typically take their time on the mound or in the batter's box will be forced to adjust.

Adding to the dramatization of the rule, games can, and already have, end on the violation.

"I hope it doesn't happen," Zavala said on a game-ending on the violation. "If it happens, I hope we're on defense. But it definitely sucks. It's not what you want to see, whether you're offense or defense. You don't want to see the game end on a non-pitch. That would suck.

"And I'm sure it's going to happen throughout spring training and hopefully the players figure it out by the time the season starts or the rules are adjusted or whatever has to happen. Hopefully, that isn't the case when the season starts."

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