DUNEDIN, Fla. — MLB and the Players Association have reached a tentative agreement to expand rosters from 26 to 28 players through May 1 to somehow compensate for a 3-week spring training and half, learned The Post.
In addition, the agreement also essentially has a Shohei Ohtani rule, with the designated hitter becoming universal in the new collective agreement. The new rule states that if the starting pitcher also hits into the lineout, then that player remains the DH even if he is out from the start. So if Ohtani, for example, pitched five innings, he would still be successful the whole game. This rule is for the life of the new ABC, not just 2022 and the hope is to promote more two-way players.
The deal also includes a return to using the “ghost” runner in extra innings, but only for 2022. Additionally, there will be no more seven-inning double headers. There will be a return to nine-inning games in these situations.
MLB and the Players Association have come to an agreement on all of these issues. MLB owners must vote to ratify all of these executive orders next week. It is expected to pass as a simple majority of 30 owners is required.
The reason for the bulk of the changes is to try to better protect player health and safety. To that end, for the period rosters expand to 28, a team can have any number of pitchers they want. The belief is that 3 and a half weeks is not enough for arms, especially beginners, to be fully stretched. The rosters would drop to 26 on May 2, and at that time teams could only have 13 pitchers on the roster.
The extra-innings rule is probably the most controversial of the lot. It will only be in effect for 2022. It will once again have a runner placed on second base to start each extra inning to create instant action and strategy and come to resolution without playing long in extra innings.
New York Post