Mattingly all for increasing pace of play

Marlins manager supports new IBB rule, exploring ways to boost action

Mattingly all for increasing pace of play

JUPITER, Fla. -- Initiatives aimed at speeding up the action are fine with Marlins manager Don Mattingly. One step Major League Baseball is taking in 2017 is to modify the intentional walk rule.

For the upcoming season, batters will simply take the base, rather than pitchers throwing four consecutive balls. Mattingly is all for exploring ways to pick up the pace, and increase action.

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"We have to continue to improve our game," Mattingly said. "Viewership, and people who are watching games... I think it's showing we're getting older, with the people who are watching baseball. We need action. We need to keep the game moving, and make the adjustments to the pace. As a game, we've got to continue to grow and evolve without losing the integrity of the game."

Along with the intentional walk revision, Mattingly hopes umpires enforce batters having to remain in the box between pitches. The rule was introduced a couple of years ago, but was often relaxed.

"Keeping guys in the box just keeps the game moving," he said. "We got away from it quickly, as soon as they showed the games were getting quicker.

"I don't think the games are necessarily too long. Just not enough action. I think that's what we talk about. Let's go. Let's get it going."

Worth noting
Jeff Locke, nursing left biceps tendinitis, is slated to throw on the field Thursday. The lefty was shut down over the weekend when he experienced discomfort during a bullpen session.

• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who testified in federal court on Tuesday, returned to practice on Wednesday. Hechavarria is a witness in the trial of agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada. Both are accused of conspiracy and alien smuggling.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.