Today, MLB and the MLB Players Association made official some of the rules changes for this year – the ones particular to the funky world created through the lockout and the negotiations and the delayed start to the season. Extra innings are back to beginning with a runner on second base, rosters are expanded to 28 for April, the minimum length of stay on the Injured List for pitchers is being adjusted in April, and more.
The “Ohtani Rule” is now official, too, which allows a starting pitcher who is also serving as the DH to be pulled from the game as a pitcher and stay in the game as the DH.
• ACTIVE ROSTER LIMITS:
– From Opening Day (April 7th) through May 1st, the 26-player active Major League roster shall increase to 28 (including 29 players for any doubleheader during this period).
– The limitation on the number of pitchers (13) on the Active Roster and the restriction on position players appearing as pitchers during a game shall not apply from April 7th through May 1st. On May 2nd, the two applicable Major League Rules – 2(b)(2)(A)-(B) and 2(b)(2)(D)(iv), respectively – shall resume.
– Pitchers and two-way players are eligible for placement on the 10-day Injured List prior to May 2nd. Beginning on May 2nd, those players will only be eligible for placement on the 15-day Injured List.
– The required number of days a pitcher or two-way player must remain on option or outright assignment prior to a subsequent recall or re-selection will be 10 days for any option or outright that occurs prior to May 2nd.
– Any optional assignments prior to May 2nd shall not count towards the agreement that limits optional assignments for any player to five.
• EXTRA INNINGS RULE:
– In an effort to preserve player health and safety during the condensed schedule, the rule that each extra inning begins with a runner on second base has been restored for the 2022 season, continuing what was in place for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
– The batter (or a substitute for the batter) who leads off an inning shall continue to be the batter who would lead off the inning in the absence of this extra-innings rule.
– The runner placed on second base at the start of each half-inning shall be the player (or a substitute for such player) in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter. By way of example, if the number five hitter in the batting order is due to lead off the tenth inning, the number four player in the batting order (or a pinch-runner for such player) shall begin the inning on second base. However, if the player in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter is the pitcher, the runner placed on second base at the start of that half-inning may be the player preceding the pitcher in the batting order. Any runner or batter removed from the game for a substitute shall be ineligible to return to the game, as is the case in all circumstances under the OBR.
– For purposes of calculating earned runs, the runner who begins an inning on second base pursuant to this rule shall be deemed to be a runner who has reached second base because of a fielding error, but no error shall be charged to the opposing team or to any player.