The MLB is undergoing several changes for the 2023 regular season. Along with the pitch clock to speed up games and a restriction on shifts to try and increase hits, there is another change that will impact the game. The league decided to increase the size of first, second and third base.
Previously, the bases were 15 inches square. They are now 18 inches square. While it doesn’t seem like a lot, the bases side-by-side look drastically different.
The new base size at Fenway Park today pic.twitter.com/fpFLfUIWmr— Meredith Gorman (@MereGorman) March 28, 2023
This size change reduced the distance from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd by 4.5 inches. Again, this doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can certainly be the difference between close plays at the bag and being safe or out.
Since being implemented in the minor leagues, there have been some notable differences. First, injuries near bases have decreased by more than 13% in the last year. Second, and as a potential shift in gameplay, there has been an increased number of stolen base attempts. This makes the historic 30/30 season (30 stolen bases and 30 home runs) possible for players with the mix of power and speed.