MLB Announces 2020 Rule Changes; Includes 3-Batter Minimum For Pitchers

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Major rule changes are official now that they’re on Twitter, but they’ve been agreed upon since March of last year.

The biggest change by far, will be a minimum amount of hitters that a pitcher must face when they enter the game. As you can see in the rule changes embedded above, a new pitcher who enters the game, must pitch to at least 3 batters before they exit (unless there is an injury of course).

The Official Baseball Rules have been amended to require the starting or any relief pitcher to pitch to a minimum of three batters, including the batter then at bat (or any substitute batter), until such batters are put out or reach base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire crew chief’s judgment, incapacitates him from further play as a pitcher. The three-batter minimum will become effective in 2020 Spring Training beginning on Thursday, March 12.

I love this rule. I’m all about strategery and I’m a baseball guy, but changing pitchers 4 times in one inning makes me want to blow my brains out. There is nothing that slows down a game more than pitching changes. So, I’m all in.


Other Rule Changes

  • Rosters also expand by one spot, under this new rule. Instead of hearing about the “25-man roster”, we will now talk about the “26-man roster”. Only 13 of those roster spots can be taken up by pitchers, though.
  • There are now rules around when a positional player can enter a game as a pitcher. In order for that to happen now, the game must be in the 9th inning or later OR a team must be winning or losing by 6 or more runs.
  • 2-way players – There is something to do with 2-way player contracts for pitchers in certain situations, where they won’t count toward the 13 pitchers on the roster… there is a lot to it, so I’ll let you read more up on it here or here or here… because I don’t care enough

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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