MBA to adopt MLB intentional walk rules
Posted on Apr 21, 2017

The Minnesota Baseball Association has adopted Major League Baseball's new intentional-walk rule — which allows a manager to send a batter to first simply by alerting the umpire, a la high school baseball — effective immediately.

The new MBA rule adheres to the same rules as the recently altered and instated MLB intentional-walk rules, which state, per the Major League Baseball Umpire Manual: 

  • If a defensive team's manager notifies the umpire that he would like to intentionally walk the batter,

    • Prior to the at bat beginning:  As the batter approaches the plate the umpire will call "Time," the ball is dead, and the umpire shall award the batter first base and advance any other runner(s) forced to advance by the batter being walked.
    • During an at bat: The umpire will call "Time," the ball is dead, and the umpire shall award the batter first base and advance any other runner(s) forced to advance by the batter being walked.

    If a substitute batter is being entered into the game, the plate umpire should confirm and officially signal the batter into the game prior to addressing the defensive Club's request to intentionally walk the batter.

There is no specific signal to order the walk; the manager simply gets the umpire's attention and orders it. Nothing in the official rules has changed regarding the inteional walk itself, so if a manager wants his pitcher to throw those four intentional-walk pitches — say, to give a reliever time to warm up — he can. Lastly, the manager may choose to walk a batter in any count.