The MLB announces rule changes for the 2020 season. You can see them in full link here.
Some of the major changes are:
- The National League will now have a designated hitter going forward.
- Extra innings will begin with a runner on second base.
- Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters.
- Any player can pitch during a game, but they must be present on the game’s lineup card.
- Players and managers need to maintain distancing from umpires. If they do not remain six feet from them they could face ejection and/or suspension and fines.
- Each club needs to submit a COVID-19 action plan to the league.
- Spitting is prohibited.
- Pitchers must use their own wet rag instead of licking their hands for a grip on the baseball.
- Clubs need to provide expanded dugouts, so players have a space to safely watch the game and be spaced out, while they are not playing.
- 40 games are played within the division. The other 20 will be against that divisions counterparts (i.e. AL Central only plays AL Central or NL Central teams).
- Clubs have released or will release a 60-man roster of those that could play at the MLB level this year.
- Active rosters need to be 25 players or at maximum 30. On the 15th day of the season, the maximum will drop to 28 players. On the 29th day, it will drop to the discussed 26 players and remain at 26 through the playoffs.
- August 31 will be the trade deadline. September 15 will be the postseason eligibility deadline.
- The injured list will either be 10 or 45 days. There will be a separate list for testing positive for COVID-19, having possibly come into contact with COVID-19, or exhibiting symptoms.
- Players may opt out of playing for the 2020 season, citing COVID-19 concerns.
This list should cover the bulk of the new rules. The list is extensive, but keep in mind, players and personnel are risking their health to entertain the fans. Hopefully, players and their families can remain safe during this time, but baseball is back!