2020 Rule Changes in the MLB

With all that has changed throughout the year, MLB has had to adapt in order to continue entertaining the masses.

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Pikist

There is no doubt the 2020 MLB season will be one to remember.

By Nathan Plunk, Copy Editor

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a wild year due to Covid-19. Many schools and workplaces have transitioned to online, and the ones that aren’t have many procedures in place to help keep people safe. Another thing that has been drastically changed is sports, and the MLB has added several new rules in order to safely continue games.

Man on Second in Extra Innings

One of the biggest rule changes takes place in extra innings. This is something that has taken place in minor league games for the past two seasons, but is new for the major. This rule states that the batter that was the last out in the inning before will be the man starting on second. This has been implemented to hopefully speed up the games, and get more runs across in the later innings. If the runner comes across to score, it will not be counted as an earned run against the pitcher.

Instead of the usual 10 teams that make it [to the postseason], there will now be 16.”

Universal Designated Hitter

For the American League, this changes very little; however, this is huge for the National League. The designated hitter was first seen in action on opening day of 1973, when Ron Blomberg got the honor of being the very first for the New York Yankees. The hope of adding a DH is to increase scoring for the National League. In the 2019 regular season, the top four highest team batting averages all belonged to the American League, with the Colorado Rockies having the highest in the National League (.265), but being 5th overall.

Seven Inning Double Headers

Another important change this year is that doubleheaders will now only be seven innings apiece, or 14 in a day (assuming no extra innings are needed). This is to hopefully speed up playing time, so as to not wear out the players as quickly. Double headers are more common this year than most, since games are being postponed due to the Coronavirus being found on teams.

Must Face Three Batters

Another rule implemented this year was that pitchers must face three batters, or get out of the inning before they can change. This rule was created in trying to stop putting in a favorable pitcher for just one batter, and then taking them out. This will also maintain a faster flow, as the game won’t need to be stopped as often to constantly change pitchers.

Playoffs

Along with these rules, the MLB has also changed the way it’s doing its playoffs this year. Instead of the usual ten teams that make it, there will now be 16. Furthermore, they plan to have a “bubble,” where they will play the NL games in the Astros’ and Rangers’ parks, and AL games at the Padres’ and Dodgers’ stadiums. The World Series itself will be played at Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ new stadium.

Although these aren’t all the new rule changes (because there are a lot), these are the majority that will have the greatest influence on the 2020 MLB season. We don’t know whether these rules are temporary or here to stay, but either way they will definitely have an impact on this wacky season.