Last week, Major League Baseball announced it will implement three dramatic rules changes next year: a pitch clock, a shift ban, and larger bases. They are some of the most significant on-field rule changes since lowering the height of the pitching mound in 1969.

What type of impact can we expect these changes to have? And will they help the sport with its declining offense and pace-of-play problem?

Let's begin with the addition of the pitch clock, which aims to address baseball's biggest issue when it comes to fan entertainment and engagement.

Under the new rule, pitchers will have 15 seconds to begin their throwing motion with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on base. Batters must be back in the box with eight seconds remaining. Violations by pitchers will result in an automatic ball added to the count, while infractions by batters will result in an added strike.

Quickening the pace by any means - remember the short-lived attempt in 2015 to keep batters in or near the box between pitches - is still necessary. The average game was three hours and 11 minutes last season, a record high. It's down to 3:07 this season, but this is the 11th consecutive year it has been over three hours. MLB is also losing fans in the stadiums, down more than 6,000 per game since 2007.

In the first year of pitch tracking in 2007, when pitchers' pace first began being recorded, there were 21.6 seconds between pitches. Generally, the time between pitches keeps growing longer. Last year, pace hit a tracking-era record of 23.7 seconds between pitches. It's been reduced to 23.1 seconds this season, mostly with the help of PitchCom.