Trout to adjust to new pace-of-play rules

Trout to adjust to new pace-of-play rules

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Major League Baseball announced that hitters must keep one foot in the batter's box this season, Mike Trout was usually the first name that came to mind.

"It's funny," Trout said, "because when I heard that rule, everybody was like, 'That's you.' We'll see how it goes."

MLB announced the enforcement of that rule as part of a list of new initiatives aimed toward quickening the pace of play. And Trout, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, frequently steps out of the batter's box and takes his time between pitches.

"It's definitely going to affect me," Trout said. "I'm going to have to change, obviously. When I call time, I'm thinking too much. That's the main reason I call timeout. Instead of getting out of the box, I'm just going to have to keep one foot out. We'll see how that works."

There are exceptions that will allow hitters to step out of the box entirely -- like swings, brush backs, bunt attempts, pickoffs and wild pitches. Those who don't adhere to the new guidelines will face minimal fines, though, not balls and strikes counted against them.

Trout figures he'll occasionally forget to keep one foot in the box at the start -- "It might take me a couple games," he said -- but doesn't see it affecting his rhythm at the plate.

It's just something else to work on in Spring Training.

"I'm sure we'll make adjustments during spring, trying to get used to it," Trout said. "It's a rule now, so you have to make adjustments."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.