Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
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MLB Proposes 3-Batter Minimum For Pitchers

MLB Proposes 3-Batter Minimum For Pitchers

Among the proposals to be considered, per multiple reports, are a universal designated hitter - now only American League teams employ a DH, with National League teams adapting to that lineup configuration when visiting an AL ballpark - a 20-second pitch clock and expanding rosters to 26. Also on the list of rules under consideration is moving away from multiple trade deadlines - now there is a non-waiver deadline in July, plus the waivers-required date a month later.

On Jan. 14, the league sent proposed rule changes to the union, the biggest of which involved requiring pitchers to face a minimum of three batters before they can be removed from a game.

A 20-second pitch clock.

Those include a pitch clock, reduced mound visits and adopting the minor-league extra innings rule - in which a runner begins the 10th inning on second base - during spring training and the All-Star Game. It also includes an expansion of rosters from 25 to 26 in 2020, with an accompanying reduction from 40 to 28 in September.

Draft advantages for winning teams and penalties for losing teams.

According to the report, other proposals including expansion of rosters to 26 players, a lowering of the mound study, and bringing back the major league contract for two-sport athletes as an incentive to choose baseball.

Many of MLB's proposals were designed for the goal of speeding up the game, one of Manfred's top priorities.

The most impactful rule change probably is the three-batter minimum for pitchers.

A three-batter minimum would be created to reduce the number of game interruptions with mound visits and pitching changes, particularly later in a game. The union has also seen the issue of "tanking" - teams stripping its payroll and hoarding prospects and draft picks - as a fundamental problem.

Of all the proposed changes, the universal DH arguably would be the most significant to the game on the field.

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