Major League Baseball is definitely one of the most popular sports in the United States, but it certainly has nothing on the excitement that the NFL and NBA brings year in and year out.
The league really wants to change that and get a much younger crowd to tune in and enjoy America’s pastime. In order to do that, the league is willing to change up a few things, with the biggest thing is the need to speed up game-play.
The MLB and MLBPA have announced their on-field agreement which entail a list of things that will take place over the course of the next two years.
MLB Rule Changes for 2019:
- Inning Breaks are to be reduced in both local and national broadcasts. The reduction is from 2:05 to 2:00 in local games, and 2:25 to 2:00 in nationally televised games.
- The maximum number of mound visits allowed to each team has been reduced to five, from six.
- The league will eliminate the waiver trade deadline and instead make July 31 the official deadline. Players will be able to be placed on outright waivers after July 31 but players may not be traded after that date.
MLB Rule Changes for 2020:
- The amount of players on an MLB Active Roster from Opening Day to August 31st and the postseason will increase from 25 to 26. The minimum number of active players will increase from 24 to 25. Doubleheaders will allow a 27th roster member.
- Elimination of 40-man roster limit in September. After September 1, teams must carry 28 players; September call-ups are, by and large, done.
- The amount of pitchers allowed on a single roster will be capped, though the number has yet to be determined. Clubs must designate each player on the roster as a pitcher or position player prior to said player’s first day on active roster. The designation cannot be changed.
- Players will be able to be listed as a Two-Way Player if they have accrued at least 20 Major League Innings pitched as well as 20 Major League Games started as a position player or DH.
- Minimum number of batters faced for pitchers will be set to three, or the pitcher must throw until the end of the half-inning (with exception for illness/injury). Goodbye, lefty specialists!
- The minimum stay on the Injured List will be increased from 10 to 15 days and the minimum assignment period of pitchers to the minor league will also increase from 10 to 15 days.
Baseball purists are certainly not going to like any of this. If the league is serious about trying to get more eyes on the sport, they’ll continue on this path and completely ignore the purists who don’t realize the league is not getting any better trying to stay the same as it was in 1969.