MLB Rule Changes: The times they are a-changin’

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 26: Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona #17 challenges a call with home plate umpire Jim Joyce during the second inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers on April 26, 2015 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 26: Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona #17 challenges a call with home plate umpire Jim Joyce during the second inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers on April 26, 2015 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /

MLB Rule Changes: The times they are a-changin’

The injury list

More from Call to the Pen

After what turned out to be a two-year flirtation with a 10-game injury list, MLB is going partially retro this spring. It is re-implementing the minimum 15-day injury list for pitchers only; position players can still be sidelined for 10 days and then activated.

The tighter restriction for pitchers grows from a sense that some teams were taking advantage of the 10-day provision in order to rest pitchers who were not actually injured while avoiding the roster consequences of resting that pitcher.

The commissioner’s office did not cite any specific data or case studies to support the concern about phantom injuries, but the inference was pretty clear.

In the same vein, pitchers who are optioned to the minor leagues must remain down for 15 days rather than 10. The rationale is the same: to prevent teams from giving pitchers a multi-day rest by claiming a phantom injury while avoiding the consequences to their roster of doing so.

For Ohtani and Lorenzen fans the 15-day rule also applies to designated two-way players.

Next. The All Valentine's Day team. dark

So there you have it: MLB rule changes will include a 26-player roster, a three-batter minimum for pitchers, a 15-day injury list for pitchers, and related tweaks. There’s a new game in town: Play it.