New Changes For Baseball As We Near a New Season

As the St. Louis Cardinals send equipment south to Florida it is time to look ahead. Soon enough, the Grapefruit League will be in full swing. As we near another baseball season, Major League Baseball will see several rule changes go into effect.

Let’s take a look at a few of the planned changes. Bear in mind, I am a traditionalist and any changes to the original rules are hard for me to swallow. Making changes to the rules makes comparing today’s players and stats to those of former players difficult, if not impossible.

The idea of implementing a rule to speed up the game of baseball doesn’t wash for me because baseball was invented to be the only major sport that isn’t rigorously timed. And on that subject, mound visits should be up to the catcher. I don’t have a problem with unlimited mound visits. It’s up to the umpire to keep the game moving if he thinks the battery is just stalling until they can get an arm warm. Last year baseball set a limit of six mound visits per nine innings, and this year a new rule will decrease the amount of mound visits from six to five.

Along the same lines is a rule I think is ridiculous. When baseball was invented, it was unusual for a pitcher to not go the distance. Today there are pitching specialists. Those that come in for long relief, often a converted starter, those that come in for middle inning relief, set-up men, closers, and pitchers that take the mound to face one left-handed or one right-handed batter. I’ve come to accept the specialist, so the new rule where a pitcher must either face three batters, or pitch to the end of the half inning seems preposterous. That rule takes away the manager’s strategy. It also makes a case for adding the Designated Hitter into the National League (something else I am against).

The last new rule I’ll touch on deals with the Injured List. Currently there is a 10-Day Injured List for all players. In 2020, the minimum time on the list for a pitcher will be set at 15 Days. A position player can still be out for a minimum of 10 days. I think fifteen is a good minimum for all players. A manager needs to think twice before putting a player on the IL just because he needs time off instead of time to nurse an injury. There are built in off days in the schedule to rest the players.