Opening Day Primer – Instant Replay
MLB implemented instant replay review for the first time in 2014. All things considered, it was considered a success and went smoothly. A total of 2,430 games were played by the 30 teams last year, and managers challenged a total of 1,377 calls, about 1+ every other game. The number of calls overturned was 609, about 48%.
Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon asked for replay reviews 35 times, and 20 (57%) of those calls were overturned after review.
After reviewing the results in 2014, MLB has made the following modifications to replay review for the 2015 baseball season:
- Managers may now invoke instant replay from the dugout and will no longer be required to approach the calling umpire to challenge a call. Managers may hold play from the top step of the dugout by signaling to players and the home plate umpire that he is considering a challenge. A decision can be communicated verbally or with a hand signal. To challenge an inning-ending call, managers will be required to leave the dugout immediately in order to hold the defensive team on the field.
- Whether a runner left the base early or properly touched a base on a tag-up play was not reviewable in 2014, but will be in 2015
- During Postseason games, regular season tiebreaker games and the All-Star Game, managers will now have two challenges per game vs. one in 2014.
- A manager will retain his challenge after every call that is overturned. Last year, a manager retained his challenge only after the first overturned call.
- A manager must use a challenge in order to review whether a play at home plate included a violation of the rule governing home plate collisions. However, in the event that a manager is out of challenges after the start of the seventh inning, the Crew Chief may still choose to review whether there was a violation of the rule.
Here is a good look at the Instant Replay modifications for 2015: