Major League Baseball officials are studying whether to raise the bottom of the strike zone from the hollow beneath the kneecap back to the top of the kneecap.

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NEW YORK – Baseball’s strike zone might be getting a slight lift.

Major League Baseball officials are studying whether to raise the bottom of the strike zone from the hollow beneath the kneecap back to the top of the kneecap.

“I’m not in a position to predict whether it’s going to happen or not,” Rob Manfred said during an interview with The Associated Press on Monday on his anniversary as baseball commissioner. “I think that the interest in the topic is really driven by the fact that if you look over time, there has been a movement down of the strike zone, largely as a result of the way we evaluate the strike zone with umpires.”

Strike-zone data was included in a presentation given to owners last week at their meeting in Coral Gables, Fla.

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An agreement with the players’ association would be necessary to make a change for this year, and baseball officials said the matter is likely to be discussed during collective bargaining, which would delay any change until at least 2017.

The strike zone extended to the top of the kneecap through the 1995 season, then it was lowered.

“The umpires have done a great job calling the strike zone as we want it called,” said Manfred, who succeeded Bud Selig. “The question is whether we ought to make an adjustment.”

Consideration of an alteration comes after a decade-and-a-half decline in offense.

Meanwhile, Manfred said when he spoke last week of a possible expansion of the designated hitter to the National League, he should have included an emphasis change is not likely.

“I think the status quo on the DH has served the industry well,” he said. “I think it serves an important purpose in terms of defining the difference between the American League and the National League, and that league definition is important to us from a competitive perspective.”

Whether to shorten the season from 162 games, its length since the early 1960s, is a topic for collective bargaining, Manfred said.

“The broadcast agreements are a really serious issue, and we’re going to sort out what flexibility we have once the issue gets aired at the table,” he said.

While he is concerned about the demands on players, “by the same token, there are certain economics built on a 162-game season. Something less than that has massive economic ramifications, not to even mention statistics and undermining the comparability of performances of players over time. It’s not something you can undertake lightly.”

As for the most enjoyable part of his job, Manfred said, “The most fun absolutely has to be when you’re out there interacting with fans, particularly young fans.”

Note

• Players agreeing to one-year contracts: third baseman Trevor Plouffe of Minnesota ($7.25 million); first baseman Lucas Duda of the New York Mets ($6.725 million) and teammate Jenrry Mejia, a pitcher ($2.47 million); pitcher Garrett Richards of the Los Angeles Angels ($6.425 million); outfielder Charlie Blackmon of Colorado ($3.5 million) and closer Shawn Tolleson of Texas ($3.275 million).