Could We See MLB Rule Changes For 2019? | Bonehead Picks

Could We See MLB Rule Changes For 2019?

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Major League Baseball has gone through some transformations over the past few seasons. Whether it was adding additional layers to instant replay or presenting a countdown clock between pitches, these rule changes and pace of play upgrades were rather necessary to go along with the evolution of the game. We also have witnessed the addition of safety nets that go beyond the dugouts for fan safety, even though often times it’s the fans fault for being more interested in their phone than the actual action in front of them.

I digress . . .

Now, Major League Baseball is looking at a potential FOUR rule changes for 2019 and beyond.

Those would be a pitcher facing a mandatory of three batters (which I’m surprised is even being brought to the table), 26-man rosters, 20 second pitch clock and the long talked about universal designated hitter for both leagues.

A pitcher facing a minimum of three batters would eliminate the lefty v. lefty matchup for one batter situation we have all grown accustomed to. It could definitely speed up the pace of play while also in hindsight be better for a pitcher’s arm. Instead of being over worked in regards to the amount of games pitched, a minimum of three batter usage would change a manager’s game plan and have to rely on a pitcher to get multiple outs. A great example would be Jerry Blevins. The former New York Met pitched in 219 games during his Mets career but only 138 and 2/3 innings. In 2018, his last season in New York, Blevins looked to be a shell of his old self, pitching to a near 5.00 ERA. Granted, there will be many who will then insist on the 26 man roster expansion to help the bullpens out a little bit, which may end up being a reality if the three batters rule is brought into fruition. Manager’s will not be thrilled if this three batters rule is passed because it eliminates a key strategic plan to neutralize an opponent’s best hitter. The Freddie Freeman’s of the world will sure be happy about this. To cancel the three batter rule out, many will point towards the idea of a 20 second pitch clock, which would guarantee a faster pace of play.

In regards to the universal designated hitter rule, it has been talked about for years. There have been pitchers who have gotten hurt due to being in the batters box or circling the bases. Jacob deGrom of the Mets hurt his non-pitching arm swinging a bat last season and Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees suffered a major leg injury on the basepaths a few years back. Having a universal DH would make interleague less intriguing, but would benefit quality of play/life for those in the National League. Could we end up seeing the end of interleague and having an NBA type schedule where a team will face everyone for at least one series during the season? Something like that could help with the cold and inclimate weather problem during the early months, as west coast and southern teams could host east coast and northern based teams from either league. It could also help with logistics issues to avoid the need for more off days and travel fatigue.

It’s still up in the air if any of these could actually go through, let alone for 2019. Though, with so many headlines surrounding Major League Baseball in so many areas, something to improve the game would be a welcomed sight in comparison to all of the negative news from this winter.

It would be great to hear some positives rather than hearing about Manny Machado and Bryce Harper for the millionth time.

 

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