Corcoran: What this season can tell us about the effect of the 3-batter minimum rule

From Cliff Corcoran at The Athletic on April 11, 2019:

Since​ Rob Manfred​ took over as commissioner of Major​ League​ Baseball in January​ 2015, rule​ changes have become​ part​ of​​ the game’s spring ritual.

In 2015, Manfred began his war on pace-of-play with inning-break clocks and new limits on when hitters were allowed to leave the batter’s box. In 2016, MLB responded to a controversial injury the previous October with a new rule governing slides at second base. In 2017, Manfred instituted no-pitch intentional walks. Last year brought a limit on mound visits. This year, perhaps emboldened by the extension he received from the owners in November, Manfred went even further, announcing a flurry of new rules for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

This season’s changes include the prohibition of waiver trades after July 31; adjustments to the inning-break clocks, allotted number of mound visits (from six to five), All-Star voting and Home Run Derby prize money; plus the renaming of the injured list. Next year will see active rosters expanded to 26 players and limited to 28 in September, a cap on the number of pitchers allowed on an active roster (along with rules regarding the designation of players as pitchers, position players and two-way players), limits on the situations in which position players can pitch, an increase to the minimum injured-list and minor-league option stays for pitchers, and a three-batter minimum for pitchers.

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Originally published: April 12, 2019. Last Updated: April 12, 2019.