MLB may force relief pitchers to pitch to at least three batters unless they’re injured or if they finished an inning.
Major League Baseball has been trying to speed up the games and now, they’re finally addressing one of the main issues that slow things down: When teams play the ‘match-up game’ in the later innings, and bring in left- and right-handed specialists just to face one or two batters each. That can really get tedious, as fans have to wait for the manager to walk out to the mound, and signal the bullpen . . . then for the next pitcher to walk (or hopefully jog) all the way in to the mound, and then get settled in.
The whole thing can really add up, so the league is talking with the Players Association about a new rule that would require ALL pitchers to pitch to at least three batters unless they’re injured or if they finished an inning.
It’s unclear if it’ll actually happen, though. Supposedly, the union didn’t outright oppose the idea, but they want to delay the discussion until next year.
The two sides also reportedly discussed: Adding the designated hitter to the National League, a 20-second pitch clock, draft advantages for winning teams and penalties for losing teams, and expanding the rosters from 25 to 26.