Major League Baseball could change the definition of a strike out of fear that the zone, as currently constituted, is assisting in the decrease of offense, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.
The low strike has garnered the most attention from the MLB playing rules committee, notes Passan, but the strike zone as a whole has gotten out of control since roughly 2009, when runs began to come at premium. Since then, the average umpire's strike zone has increased from 435 to 475 square inches, per research done by Jon Roegele of The Hardball Times.
Adjusting the rules surrounding the strike zone is the latest in a pair of attempts to increase offense. MLB is toying with the idea of instituting a pitch clock, going as far as to test the idea in Double-A and Triple-A during the upcoming season. Of course, changing the definition of a strike could nullify the benefit of a pitch clock in one way. Shrinking the zone could result in more walks, which in turn, might keep games from shortening up to the league's liking.
It's probable that neither implementation would have to happen if MLB would simply tell its umpires to call games how they're supposed to be called. Forcing batters to enter the box in a reasonable amount of time, cutting time off mound visits and calling balls and strikes as they're currently meant to be called would go a long way toward accomplishing whatever goals MLB has in regards to improving the quality and excitement of its product.