Major League Baseball announces rule changes involving pitcher usage, roster limits, inning breaks

Major League Baseball announces rule changes involving pitcher usage, roster limits, inning breaks

Baseball is expected to make the official announcement regarding the rule changes on Thursday.

Major League Baseball has agreed to multiple changes that will be put into place over the next two seasons. The agreement is subject to ratification by the 30 Clubs.

For local broadcasts, the inning break will be cut by 5 seconds, while breaks in national games will be trimmed by 25 seconds.

Mound Visits: The maximum number of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.

- The trade deadline is now July 31 - period.

The biggest change in 2019 will be the move to a single trade deadline, which will be on July 31.

Joint Committee: MLB and the MLBPA will form a joint committee to study other potential changes.

As Passan details, the All-Star Game selection process will also be getting a facelift in 2019. During the "primary round" each club will nominate one player per eligible position (including three outfielders) who will be voted on by fans. Fans will still be permitted to cast votes online, but the top three players at each position will then be included in a newly implemented All-Star "Election Day" which figures to provide new avenues to marketing the game's top talent both in mainstream media and via social media.

In any game in which his team is losing or winning by more than six runs when the player enters as a pitcher.

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The amount of players on an MLB Active Roster from Opening Day to August 31st and the postseason will increase from 25 to 26. Doubleheaders will allow a 27th roster member.

Elimination of 40-man active roster limit in September. From September 1st through the end of the championship season, all Clubs must carry 28 players on the active roster.

Also coming in 2020, each team's pitching staff on an active roster will be capped at a number that will be decided on by a committee of Major League Baseball and the players' association. The postseason also will see the one-player increase.

The changes for the 2019 season won't be as drastic.

~ A pitcher also must face a three-batter minimum in 2020. The rule was implemented unilaterally by the Office of the Commissioner.

- Pitchers will have to serve a 15- rather than 10-day Injured List period as a way to try to further thwart roster manipulation.

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