Skip to comments.Rule changes coming this year and next [MLB]
Posted on 03/14/2019 10:35:15 PM PDT by be-baw
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have negotiated a series of rule changes that will go into effect over the next two seasons. Subject to ratification by all 30 clubs, the changes will affect everything from reliever roles to roster size to the way trades are conducted to the way All-Star rosters are constructed.
Though the changes will reduce the amount of down time in games by limiting pitching changes, mound visits and the amount of time between innings, the two sides have agreed that a pitch clock will not be added during the course of the current Basic Agreement, which runs through 2021. However, MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to meet and discuss a broader renegotiation and extension of the Basic Agreement.
Here is a rundown of the new rules and when they go into effect:
CHANGES EFFECTIVE IN 2019
Inning breaks: Subject to discussions with broadcast partners, inning breaks will be reduced from 2:05 to 2:00 in local games and from 2:25 to 2:00 in national games. The Commissioners Office retains the right to further reduce the breaks to 1:55 in local and national games for the start of the 2020 season.
Trade Deadline: The waiver trade period will be eliminated. The July 31 Trade Deadline will be the only deadline. Players may still be placed and claimed on outright waivers after July 31, but trades will no longer be permitted after that date.
All-Star Game: Fan voting will be conducted in two rounds -- a primary round that mirrors the All-Star voting of old, followed in late June or early July by an Election Day in which the top three vote-getters at each position in each league during the primaries will be voted on by fans in a prescribed time period to determine the All-Star starters.
As far as the game itself is concerned, the 10th inning -- and all subsequent innings -- of All-Star Games that go into extra innings will begin with a runner on second base.
Home Run Derby: Total player prize money for the Home Run Derby will be increased to $2.5 million. The winner of the Home Run Derby will receive $1 million.
Mound visits: The maximum number of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five per game. MLB had instituted an initial mound-visit limitation prior to the 2018 season.
Additionally, MLB and the MLBPA will form a joint committee to study other potential rule changes.
CHANGES EFFECTIVE IN 2020
Active roster provisions: The roster size from Opening Day through Aug. 31 will increase from 25 to 26 (with the minimum number of active players rising from 24 to 25, and roster sizes for doubleheaders rising from 26 to 27).
The 40-man active roster for September will be eliminated. From Sept. 1 through the end of the regular season, all clubs will carry 28 players.
Furthermore, the number of pitchers a club can carry on the active roster will be capped at a certain number, to be decided by the aforementioned joint committee. To adhere to that rule, clubs will have to designate each of their players as either a pitcher or a position player prior to each players first day on the active roster for a given season. That designation cannot change for the remainder of the season. Position players will not be allowed to pitch except in the following scenarios:
They are designated as a Two-Way Player. A player can only qualify for this designation if he accrues at least 20 Major League innings pitched and at least 20 Major League games started as a position player or designated hitter (with at least three plate appearances in each of those games) in either the current or the prior season.
In any game in which his team is losing or winning by more than six runs when he enters as a pitcher.
Three-batter minimum for pitchers: Rule 5.10(g) will be amended to require that starting pitchers and relief pitchers must pitch to either a minimum of three batters or to the end of a half-inning, with exceptions for incapacitating injury or illness. This will effectively end the so-called LOOGY (left-handed one-out guy) and other specialist roles in which pitchers are brought in for one very specific matchup.
Injured list: The minimum time a player spends on the injured list will be increased back to 15 days from 10, and the minimum assignment period of pitchers who are optionally assigned to the minors will increase from 10 days to 15. MLB had reduced the minimum injured list period to 10 days prior to the 2017 season to reduce the incentive for teams to play shorthanded or for players having to play at less than full strength. However, teams manipulated the rule change to rotate relievers on and off their active rosters, thereby maintaining a full stash of rested arms, which resulted in more pitching changes.
I expected they might have be more heavy-handed to placate those lobbying for reduced game time and delays.
I’m on the fence on several of them but then I’m a purist.
Thanks for posting.
You’re welcome. Do you actually like any of the rule changes?
So much for great pitching exhibitions.
Why don't they just grant everyone one run per inning to spice things up? Utter nonsense...
They can keep everything like it is if they just make one rule change - every count starts at 1-1. The average game time should drop about 30 minutes without affecting the game at all.
Agreed, runner on second base after the 9th, no 40 man roster - bunch of bs.
Sabremetrics - bunch of bs as well - does not take winning into account. Example - MY Mets pitcher Degrom getting the Cy Young award because of his ERA... 10-9? Not much of a winner. Got it only because he played in NY and had the benefit of media exposure all pushing him. If he played for the Padres fuggetaboutit.
They’ve kind of taken the pitching out of the game in a way.
Kids today don’t know what a complete game looks like.
They pitch for five to seven innings, and along comes the relief.
I believe there are some complete games, but not like there used to be.
You touched on the ERA issue too, and I remember Bob Gibson winding up with something under a little over 1 ERA. Ouch!
During a spring training game the commentators said one of the minor leagues is trying out moving the mound back 2 feet and increasing the bases from 15 to 18 inches.
I want to make rule changes back to the old rules... Especially regarding that stupid ass DH rule. But don't get me started.
Yeah, I'm old school.
The pace-of-play changers are mostly pretty stupid. Nobody out there is saying, “I’d watch if it was 15 minutes shorter on average!” The idea of adding official clocks to baseball is galling.
The guy had 32 starts and gave up 2 or fewer earned runs in 26 of them. He had 12 losses or no decision in games where he gave up 0 or 1 earned runs.
For some of these rule changes you’d need a Harvard attorney and a Cray computer to game out all the possibilities (Two-Way Player, as one example).
The biggest problem with baseball is the ridiculous amount of time between innings. 1 minute and 30 seconds should be maximum. Instead, many, many times in real life, it’s closer to 3 minutes. Absolutely killing the game.
Are you kidding ghost runner on 2d base is classic.
This is not a good idea: Three-batter minimum for pitchers: Rule 5.10(g) will be amended to require that starting pitchers and relief pitchers must pitch to either a minimum of three batters or to the end of a half-inning.
Every pitcher has the occasional awful day. To prevent their removal before finishing a half-inning won’t hasten the game.
Oh, and the greatest mortal sin to baseball, the DH, is more than likely coming soon to the NL.
Years back I was watching an Orioles game on the tube, and they ran out of pitchers, went into extended endings, and IIRC they ended up bringing in a shortstop. Incredible, edge of the seat stuff, absolutely bizarre. And it probably pissed off the suits up in corporate because they had to go into and interrupt programming in order to keep that game on the air.
That’s what this is all about, it’s about programming and sticking to schedule if at all possible so as not to interfere with their broadcast plan.
I never bought into the sports is entertainment mindset. IMHO sport is Sport and it is competitiveness not entertainment. Iy is competition on the field or in the ring or on the course it’s a match, it’s a duel, and I don’t think it really fits into the category of entertainment. But hey, that’s just me.
The biggest problem with baseball is the ridiculous amount of time between innings. 1 minute and 30 seconds should be maximum. Instead, many, many times in real life, its closer to 3 minutes. Absolutely killing the game.
I rarely watch MB anymore. But, I agree that putting a clock in the pitcher will eventually have to happen. Im thinking maybe 30 secs max per pitch. Penalty if exceeded would be a ball charged to pitcher.
I have a problem with this one too. It eliminates one of the strategic elements of the game, the lefty/righty matchups. All a manager has to do with that rule is alternate left-handed and right-handed hitters in the lineup and theres no way an opposing manager can get a favorable matchup.
There is an easier way to speed up the game without eliminating the ability of a manager to vchange pitchers as desired no warmup pitches after a change. These guys are already warmed up in the bullpen; why is it necessary to take the time to let them throw warmup pitches after a change? An exception could be made for injury, but come in and pitch.
I can’t wait until Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pelosi decide people from the grandstands can come onto the field and be allowed to assist the team in the field by standing in the way of the runners when the ball is struck by the batter. If called by the umpires, then they are given sanctuary by the field ref and allowed to continue without being removed from the field. Besides, that would be xenophobic.
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