Since people have wondered aloud (myself included) how players' bodies will be able to handle going all-out so much, this comes as welcome surprise, in that players won't have to over-exert themselves so much.
Classic announces pitch limits, mercy rules
NEW YORK -- The World Baseball Classic set its pitch limits and mercy rules Thursday, designed to protect pitchers in the early stages of spring training and cut short one-sided games.
Pitchers in the first round of games, scheduled from March 3-10, will be limited to 65 pitches. The amount rises to 80 pitches for the second round, set for March 12-16, and 95 for the semifinals on March 18 and the championship March 20.
A 30-pitch outing must be followed by one day off, and a 50-pitch outing must be followed by four days off. No one will be allowed to pitch on three consecutive days.
Pitchers who reach the limit will be allowed to complete the current plate appearance. The usual rule that a starting pitcher must throw at least five innings to get credit for a win will be waived.
All games will use designated hitters. Games will be stopped after five innings when a team is ahead by 15 or more runs and after seven innings when a team is ahead by at least 10 runs. A game can be stopped in the middle of an inning if a team reaches the threshold.