Former World Series Champion Kris Medlen Endorses MLB's Pitch Clock for Shorter Games

MLB Sees Game-Changing Results from New Timing Rules

by Nouman Rasool
Former World Series Champion Kris Medlen Endorses MLB's Pitch Clock for Shorter Games
© Norm Hall/Getty Images

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Kris Medlen, known for his tactical prowess on the mound, recently shared his views on the game's evolving landscape, specifically addressing the newly implemented pitch clock. Speaking with Zac Blackerby of "Braves Today," Medlen, who hung up his cleats in 2018, expressed support for the change, a stance aligning with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's vision for the sport.

Medlen, now 38, reflected on how the pitch clock impacts both players and fans. "I don't think the pitch clock would totally affect me and my mentality, but me, as a fan, I do enjoy 45, 30 minutes shorter games," he stated.

This perspective offers a unique blend of a player's insight and a fan's enthusiasm, underscoring the dual roles many former athletes assume post-retirement.

Pitch Clock's Positive Impact

The pitch clock, a novel addition to MLB in 2023, aims to boost offense and reduce game durations.

It stipulates a 20-second limit for pitchers to deliver their throw with bases empty and 15 seconds with a runner on base. Batters, on the other hand, must be ready by the eight-second mark, or they face penalties. This rule change has already shown its effectiveness, with average game times dropping from over three hours to approximately two hours and forty minutes in its inaugural season.

Medlen's endorsement joins a growing consensus among baseball veterans. Prominent figures like Max Scherzer of the Texas Rangers and John Smoltz, a former NL Cy Young winner, have also voiced their support. Initially met with skepticism, the pitch clock is gradually being recognized for its positive impact on the game's pace and appeal.

A California native, Medlen began his MLB journey with the Atlanta Braves in 2009. His career highlight came in 2012, where he achieved a remarkable 1.57 ERA, splitting his time between starting and relief pitching, and even entered the MVP discussion.

After a hiatus in 2014 for Tommy John surgery, he signed with the Kansas City Royals, contributing to their World Series triumph in 2015 with 15 appearances and a 4.01 ERA. Post-retirement, Medlen has transitioned to a role as an analyst with Bally Sports, offering insights drawn from his rich on-field experience.

His perspective on the pitch clock adds to the chorus of voices advocating for this change, signifying a shift in how the game is played and enjoyed, marking a win-win situation for players and fans alike.