Cain, Royals support pace of game initiatives

Time clock to be used to enforce guidelines

Cain, Royals support pace of game initiatives

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Of all the Royals players most likely affected by MLB's new pace of game initiatives, it would be center fielder Lorenzo Cain.

Cain loves to step out of the box, adjust his gloves numerous times, roll and stretch his neck, and then slowly proceed back into the box.

"Yep, that's me," Cain said, smiling and laughing.

Now, as baseball attempts to improve pace of play, Cain will have to curb that habit. Baseball is enforcing the rule that states that only under certain conditions is a batter allowed to step out of the box (wild pitch, passed ball, throws to first, umpire's timeout, etc.)

MLB Tonight demos pace of game

The enforcement will be carried out through a warning and fine system.

"It's just something I'll have to adjust to," Cain said. "It'll be OK. We're always having to make adjustments anyway, so this is just another one. It might take me a while to get used to it."

Royals right-hander Wade Davis gave the new enforcement procedure a big thumbs-up.

"Generally, I'm kind of waiting on the batter anyway," Davis said. "So whatever helps the pace, I'm for. A lot of times, we're ready and then we have to wait.

"I think it will help the pitcher because the hitter won't have as long to adjust mentally on each pitch."

There also were some modifications made to the instant-replay rules, including tag-up plays, which now are reviewable, and the ability for managers to invoke instant replay from the dugout, rather than proceeding onto the field.

"I'm for all of it," manager Ned Yost said. "By the end of the season, I wasn't coming out of the dugout anyway to call for a replay, so that's a good change to make it official."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.