Major League Baseball is one step away from introducing several minor rule changes for the 2013 season, needing only the approval of the MLB Player's Association to set the new law in stone, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN:
Baseball owners approved a rule change last week, several sources have told ESPN, that would allow coaches and managers to bring interpreters to the mound this season for conferences with foreign-born pitchers who don't speak fluent English...
That was one of several rules changes that were voted on and tentatively approved at last week's MLB owners meetings.
In addition to interpreters taking the mound with the pitching coach/manager, two other rule changes of note are expected to be implemented this season, according to Stark:
1. A seventh coach will be permitted to suit up and sit in the dugout, one more than in previous seasons. This change comes as a result of several teams hiring an assistant hitting coach, most of whom were forced to sit out games in the clubhouse last year.
2. The fake-to-third, throw-to-first pick-off move that almost never works will now be considered a balk. The "trick move" was voted out by the Playing Rules Committee last year -- giving MLB the authority to bar the move -- but approval by the player's union would make the ban unilateral.