Manny Machado Becomes First Player To Violate New Rules

It will no doubt be the first of many instances this spring, and over the season's first several weeks. In the first day of spring training games, Manny Machado has been rung up for the first violation of the slew of new rules in MLB this season.

Manny Machado hadn't even seen a pitch yet from Robbie Ray, and he's already down in the count, 0-and-1. The San Diego Padres' third baseman became the first major leaguer ever to have an automatic strike called on him because he wasn't in the box and "alert to the pitcher" by the :08 second mark on the new pitch clock. 

Of course, the last thing you want to do is to rile up Machado, as the next thing he did was drill a single to left field. 

Under the new pitch clock rules, the pitcher has 15 seconds to throw a pitch after receiving the ball back from the catcher, or an automatic ball will be called. The batter, though, has to play along as well, as they have to be facing the pitcher, in the box, with 8 seconds left on the clock, or, as we saw, they get dinged for a strike. 

And just how does the pace of play look with the new pitch clock? Nice and brisk. The way it ought to be:

The rules are in effect all through the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, to give players some prep time to get used to them for the start of the regular season. 

 Photo: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports