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MLB 2020 - Pandemic Edition

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  • MLB 2020 - Pandemic Edition

    Here is a list and explanation of the new rule changes in the MLB:

    This is the big one that's been grabbing the headlines since it was first reported.

    All pitchers -- both starters and relievers -- now have to face at least three batters (or pitch until the inning is over) before they come out of a game. The only exception is an injury or illness that prevents the pitcher from being able to finish his three batters.

    The main effect of this rule will be on specialist relievers, who are often used for only one batter to give their team a favorable matchup -- for example, a left-handed pitcher who faces only left-handed hitters, whom he is most likely to get out (often nicknamed a “LOOGY,” for “left-handed one-out guy”). There will be no more of that in 2020. The rule could also impact teams that use openers -- typical relievers who start a game to match up specifically against the top of the opposing order. Now, an opener would have to face at least three batters even if he has a bad matchup in that run.

    The three-batter rule goes into effect in Spring Training on March 12.

    There are five parts to the roster limits rule change:

    26-man rosters -- Teams' active rosters are being increased from 25 to 26 players for the regular season (through Aug. 31) and during the postseason. Teams are limited to carrying a maximum of 13 pitchers.

    Smaller rosters in September -- MLB is adjusting the size of September rosters to 28 players, including a max of 14 pitchers.

    Previously, when rosters expanded in September, any player on a team's 40-man roster could be added to the Major League club. And while teams usually didn’t use all 40, it was common to see 30-plus players active for a given game in the final month of the season. That often caused longer games in September with teams using a lot more relief pitchers or pinch-hitters in certain situations than they would have been able to with normal roster sizes.

    Two-way player designation -- A "two-way player" -- someone who both hits and pitches -- is now an official designation. That lets them stay on the roster as a position player and pitch in games without counting toward their team's 13-pitcher pitcher limit. If you designate someone a two-way player, they have to stay that way through the end of the year.

    This is for players like the Angels' Shohei Ohtani, a starting pitcher and designated hitter, and the Reds' Michael Lorenzen, who appears as a reliever and also plays the outfield. True two-way players essentially hadn't been seen in the Major Leagues since the days of Babe Ruth until Ohtani arrived from Japan in 2018.

    Players have to meet certain criteria to qualify as two-way players -- in either the current MLB season or the previous one, they have to pitch at least 20 innings in the Majors and start at least 20 games as a position player or DH where they bat three or more times.

    The two-way player designation for 2020 also allows players who met the requirements in 2018 to qualify this season. So Ohtani, who didn't pitch last year because of Tommy John surgery but did pitch as a rookie in '18, can still be named a two-way player for the Angels right away.

    Position players pitching -- Position players are allowed to pitch only if a game goes to extra innings, or if their team is winning or losing by more than six runs. During normal circumstances in a nine-inning game, only the team's 13 designated pitchers -- or two-way players -- are allowed to pitch.

    Teams were using position player pitchers more than ever before in the past couple of seasons. In 2019, more than 50 different position players pitched in at least one game, generally so teams could save their pitchers' arms if they felt a game was out of hand.

    The 27th man -- What used to be the "26th man" is now a "27th man" thanks to the new 26-man roster size.

    Teams used to be able to call up an extra player in special circumstances -- mainly for a doubleheader. They still can ... that player is now just the 27th on the roster, not the 26th. Teams are allowed to call up a 14th pitcher for these games.

    Pitchers and two-way players are returning to a 15-day injured list. That is, once they're placed on the IL, they can't be reinstated for 15 days.

    The injured list used to be 15 days for all players until the 2017 season, when it was reduced to 10 days. Position players will still have a 10-day IL under the new rules.

    Additionally, pitchers who are optioned to the Minor Leagues now have to remain there for 15 days rather than 10. The option period for position players is still 10 days.

    Managers now only have 20 seconds to decide to challenge a play instead of 30.

    That shortens the amount of time they have to get information about video replays, which might allow them to figure out if they'd win a challenge before they actually challenge the play. Of the changes that were announced on Wednesday, this is the only one that hadn’t previously been reported publicly.

    I like all the changes.

  • #2
    I thought I'd replied to this. I'm probably at too much of a distance to fully grasp all of the intricacies but from where I'm sat, I've got no problems with anything they're changing up here.

    What is it now, like three weeks until the start of the regular season?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."


    • #3
      All the rule changes are great, and will speed up the game, which has been a problem. If you have ever watched a Yankees/Red Sox game, they last for over 4.5 hours. But now with roster limits at the end of the season, and the 3 batter rule, games will be faster.

      Opening Day is 3/26.


      • #4
        No baseball for the foreseeable future - anyone following the dream bracket the MLB are running?

        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."


        • #5
          Dunno about anyone else but I'm scratching the cravings by watching old games. Game 7 of the 1997 world series right now.

          "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."


          • #6
            Sounds like the NL are going to get designated hitter this season when it finally starts

            edit: function test
            Last edited by Prime Time; 05-11-2020, 06:59 AM. Reason: TESTING


            • #7

              It should go the other way, and the AL should give up the DH. Play some real baseball. The MLB is instituting all these pitching rules to combat games that take forever, so eliminate the DH and games are much shorter as there just are not that many pitching changes. The game is better with the double switch, and not burning 2 players at a time. I am all for updating the game, but I have always hated the DH. Put a damn pitch clock in, like the NBA and NFL has a shot clock and play clock.


              • #8
                By all reports there's literally no chance of the AL giving it up, so if they are going to standardise - even just for this weir season - this is the only way it's going to happen.

                "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."


                • #9
                  The DH is never going away because of the players union. They will never allow the elimination of 'jobs' of what 15-16 guys? That is the single biggest reason why the DH is NOT going away. The union has said that for years, AND since the MLB Players Union is the single strongest union on the planet, they always get their way. And since it is not going anywhere, and with the DH, the AL usually dominates the NL, becuase of this: During interleague games this is the questions: AL in NL parks: Who do we sit? NL in AL parks: Who do we bat? The NL always has a disadvantage as they do not have a player with (not always, but usually) with slash lines like this .285+/30+/85+ sitting on the bench. That player plays every day. The AL does.


                  • #10
                    Well if it's not going away, why bother talking about how it should? I guess was my point. If it's not going away the issues isn't whether the AL should get rid of the designated hitter, it's about whether the rules should standardise or not.

                    I wonder if this will prove to be a gateway to introduce it full time in the NL.

                    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."


                    • #11
                      The DH has been talked about being in the NL for years, and it was very close to being instituted in the next few years, but now with the potential shortened season, and if they put it in universally this year, it will be in forever.

                      Which means that the Phillies will get huge releif with their albatross of Harpers 13 year contract. He was immovable, and with the DH, he will be able to DH for the last 7-9 years of his contract.

                      So we will get the DH in the NL and all of the pitching changes as well. Besides the "geographic realignment" this will be a very different MLB.
                      Last edited by Powder; 05-11-2020, 08:08 AM.


                      • #12
                        Eh we'll get used to it


                        • #13
                          Saw that the Jeter HoF induction is going to have to wait until next year. They'll be running the two ceremonies side by side in 2021, by the sound of it.

                          "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."


                          • #14
                            The MLB may actually be done if they do not come backthis year. The players and MLBPA are both causing everyone to take the owners sides. The players 'won't play for less money'. Boo fucking hoo. Millionaires can't play for 8 million a year if their contract s for 10-12. Regular people are out of work, and can't pay their bills, buy food, pay rent, and these entitled millionaires won't play for a tad bit less.

                            The fans may not come back after this. The MLB still hasn't fully recovered from the 94 strike, and this could be the proverbial nail in the coffin. That is what I have been hearing from everyone.


                            • #15
                              Draft ongoing as we speak. Detroit took Spencer Torkelson first, and the Orioles then took OF Heston Kjerstad.

                              Marlins currently on.

                              "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."