MLB Rumors: Discussions To Amend 3-Batter Minimum Rule To Two Batters Was Voted Down At Owners’ Meetings
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 season brought significant changes to MLB, including the elimination of the August waiver trade deadline and less time in between innings.

An additional set of new rules will be introduced during the 2020 season. Arguably the most notable change is that pitchers are now required to either face a minimum of three batters or reach the end of a half-inning (with exceptions for incapacitating injury or illness).

The rule was first discussed last offseason, along with the implementation of a universal designated hitter and roster expansion. While the DH will remain exclusively in the American League for the 2020 season, rosters are set to expand to 26 players next year.

Most approve of the decision to lengthen rosters, but the three-batter minimum rule has been met with mixed reviews. So much so that it was almost amended at the MLB owners’ meetings in November, via Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY:

A three-batter minimum was experimented with in the Atlantic League during the 2019 season. Such was made possible due to an agreement between Major League Baseball and the Atlantic League to test new rules and equipment.

Along with a three-batter minimum, other changes that were carried out in the Atlantic League include the addition of robot umpires, restricted mound visits and the banning of shifts.

Many have opposed a three-batter minimum because it takes away from some of the strategy that managers use when going to the bullpen. The new rule is particularly disappointing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who found success deploying Adam Kolarek in one-batter situations last season.

Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays at the July 31 trade deadline, Kolarek made 26 appearances for the Dodgers in 2019. Of those outings, the left-hander faced just one batter on 16 occasions, including his final eight games of the regular season.

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