Three-Batter Minimum for Pitchers, Universal DH Among MLB Rule Change Proposals

Ross Houston
February 8, 2019

A rule requiring pitchers to face a minimum of three batters, except in the case of injury or when finishing an inning.

Most of the rule changes listed in Jeff Passan's tweet above were ones proposed by the league, while the Players Association countered with ideas of there own on Friday.

A reduction in mound visits from six to five. Under the plan, the National League would adopt the DH for the 2019 season. Led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB now features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports.

Among them, according to an ESPN report, is a universal designated hitter; a three-batter minimum for pitchers; one trade deadline before the All-Star break; a 20-second pitch clock; and expanding rosters to 26 with a 12-pitchers maximum.

As part of a January 14 proposal to the players' union on pace of play, baseball suggested a rule requiring pitchers to face a minimum of three batters, sources told The Athletic.

Owners meetings are scheduled for this week and spring training begins next week.

The union's proposals reportedly would give improved draft position to high-performing, lower-revenue teams while penalizing teams that repeatedly lose a large number of games.

The union has long backed the adoption of the DH in the NL, under the thinking that those jobs would largely go to veteran hitters at higher salaries. The combination of these grievances has sparked these discussions of rule changes, despite the sides remaining in the middle of a collective bargaining agreement.

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