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MLB announces rules changes for 2020 season

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts checks out a play during an NLDS game against the Senators on Oct. 9, 2019.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will now have 20 seconds to decided if he will challenge a play.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

Major League Baseball announced rules changes Wednesday for the 2020 season, including a three-batter minimum for relief pitchers and active roster limits increasing from 25-26 through Aug. 31.

The three-batter minimum for relievers, which is aimed to speed up games, will be in place for spring training.

Other pitching changes include clubs carrying a maximum of 13 pitchers during the regular season through Aug. 31 and again in the postseason. Teams can have 14 pitchers from Sept. 1 through the end of the regular season when rosters expand to 28 instead of 40.

Also, position players can pitch in a game only after the ninth inning unless their team is losing or winning by more than six runs.

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The changes were agreed upon by MLB and the players’ association in March.

In other rules changes:

— In an effort to speed up games, managers will be given 20 seconds, instead of 30, to declare if they will challenge a play.

— Rosters can be expanded to 27 players for doubleheaders, including a 14th pitcher.

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— Pitchers placed on the injured list can be recalled after 15 days instead of 10.

— Two-way designations will exist for players who have pitched at least 20 innings and started 20 games as a position player or designated hitter with at least three plate appearances in the previous season. They will not count toward the roster limit of pitchers.


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