MLB rule changes will include DH Universal, runner at second base to start extras for the 2020 season

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MLB and MLBPA agree to start the season

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced Tuesday that the two sides agreed to the security terms and testing protocols. As a result, Commissioner Rob Manfred has established a 60-game season that will see teams play their games against their divisional rivals and geographic counterparts (East National League teams, for example, will play against American League teams. This). Yes, baseball is back.

There are two notable changes to the rules being instituted for the 2020 season in the name of player health and safety, according to CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden: Universal DH and a modification to additional entries that will see each frame start with a runner at second base. Let’s see what each one means.

DH universal

It seems that it has been rumored that DH will come to the National League forever. It will be here in 2020.

The company line is that using a DH will help pitchers stay healthy (by eliminating them by swinging the bat or running the base lanes) and will allow additional players to get more consistent at-bats. Additionally, managers will be able to temper the workloads of their initiators by keeping them standing when they are not on the mound.

Maybe that proves to be a bunch of fools, but it’s a bunch of sensible fools in light of the condensed schedule.

Runner up second in extras

MLB has been experimenting with this wrinkle in minors. The goal is to speed up games and avoid marathon contests that could be particularly tiring this year.

The rule has been successful in those efforts at the minor league level. According to JJ Cooper of Baseball America, over 70 percent of extra inning games have been resolved after a single inning during the 2018-19 seasons. In the previous two years, that was true in only 45 percent of contests.

Obviously, there is something to be said for the strategic differences between the minors and the majors, but there is reason to believe that we will see fewer games in more than 11 innings this year than normal, and not just counting.