Over the last several years, we’ve seen Major League Baseball experiment with several rules at the big-league level and even more in the minor leagues.
On Thursday, MLB announced it would be testing out some new regulations at different levels of minor league baseball this spring and summer. These changes involve larger bases, limiting defensive shifts and forcing pitchers to step off the rubber before throwing to a base.
The larger bases will go into effect at Triple-A. The bases will switch from 15 square inches to 18 square inches, which is meant to limit collisions and increase player safety. It could, MLB admits, have “modest impact on the success rate of stolen base attempts and the frequency with which a batter-runner reaches base on groundballs and bunt attempts.”
Teams in Double-A will be required to have four players in the infield, which will prevent a manager from shifting an infielder into shallow right field for a dead-pull lefty hitter. Later on in the season, teams may be required to have two infielders on each side of second base, which would hurt shifts in both directions.
Lastly, the pitcher step-off rule will go into effect at High-A. It had officially been tested in the Atlantic League back in 2019.
MLB just announced they’re testing experimental rules in the minor leagues including:
– Larger bases to reduce collisions
– Limits of defensive shifts requiring four players on the boundaries of the infield dirt
– Requiring pitchers to step off before throwing to a base pic.twitter.com/WhMhKdIyBH
— joon (@joonlee) March 11, 2021
Of course, all of these rule changes and tinkering will be met with plenty of skepticism. A lot of people won’t want the game of baseball altered too much.
However, like it or not, the game is changing, and we may not only see some of these experiments become permanent mandates in the future, but also see them extend up to the MLB level.
The post MLB Announces New Experimental Rules For The Minor Leagues appeared first on The Spun.
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