A baseball ready for export is pictured at the Rawlings factory in Turrialba, Costa Rica March 3, 2010.
Major League Baseball made official its rule changes for the 2020 season on Wednesday, implementing a three-batter minimum for any pitcher and an expanded regular-season roster.
This will, for example, effect the usage of a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen, often brought in to face a left-handed batter before another pitching change. The umpiring crew chief has the discretion to allow for a substitute pitcher in case of injury.
The three-batter rule goes into effect during spring training on March 12.More news: Justin & Hailey Bieber Share Private Wedding Details in 'Seasons'
Other pitching changes include clubs carrying a maximum of 13 pitchers during the regular season through August 31 and again in the postseason.
Starting Sept. 1, all clubs must expand their rosters to 28 active players. Previously, teams could bring up anybody on the their 40-man roster in September, often carrying 30-plus players. The same regulations will apply to postseason rosters.
Additionally, teams will be allowed to designate "two-way" players, who both pitch and play a position/act as the designated hitter.
In order to qualify as a two-way player and thus appear as a pitcher during a game without counting toward a club's pitching roster limit, that player must total at least 20 innings pitched in the majors and at least 20 games started as a position player or designated hitter, with at least three plate appearances in each of those games in either the current season or the previous season.More news: P.S. I Still Love You': Striking and realistic sequel
Also, position players can pitch in a game only after the ninth inning unless their team is losing or winning by more than six runs.
What had been a 26th player for certain day-night doubleheaders through August 31 will become a 27th player in those situations, and that player won't count against the pitcher limit. They can still do so, temporarily expanding their roster to 27.
The injured list and option recall minimum period for pitchers will increase from 10 days to 15, an effort to slow the use of relievers by teams who shuttle off pitchers between the majors and minors. The league has also limited the ability for position players to pitch with that rule. There still is a seven-day concussion IL.
Lastly, the time for managerial challenges to be requested has been reduced from 30 seconds to 20, and the injured list for pitchers has been returned back to 15 days instead of 10.More news: COVID-19: World Health Organization official name for Coronavirus