“The two parties have agreed in their proposal this week, obtained by USA TODAY Sports, they will adopt the rule of the minor leagues in 2020, according to which each inning after the ninth will begin with a runner on second base. In the playoffs, the games will revert back to the traditional rules.
“The union also wants to discuss with the MLB to be able to change the substitution rules in extra innings, allowing players to re-enter the game among other possibilities. “
If the MLB and the players decide to move forward in the season – and if the pandemic COVID-19 allows it to be played – then the calendar will be compressed, probably with a few days of leave, and several headers are scheduled. As such, something like a game night of 17 rounds could seriously complicate things. These steps could avoid such a scenario.
As noted by Nightengale, however, such changes may be considered beyond the season 2020, but for the moment, only 2020 is in discussion. The MLB will not fly blind with these measures, as the minor league affiliates have started each inning with a runner on second base. According to Nightengale, this change has already been accepted, and may be calling the matches of the regular season after a number of rounds would provide another layer of “protection” against such slogs five and six hours, which appear several times per year.
Take such measures for 2020 is certainly understandable given the constraints of schedule, but the traditionalists will back up probably if these changes become permanent.