Major League Baseball is experimenting with a few different rules in the Atlantic League in 2023, including the ‘Designated Pinch Runner,’ which will allow a player to be substituted in and out of the game as a baserunner without penalty.
“Each club will list a player who is not otherwise in the starting lineup as a designated pinch runner,” the rule reads. “That player may then be substituted at any point into the game as a baserunner. The player who is substituted for, as well as the pinch runner, may then return to the game without penalty.”
It would certainly be an interesting change, as in the MLB today, a player who is pinch run for is not allowed to come back into the game.
The league is also trying out a rule that applies to the starting pitcher and designated hitters. The “Double-Hook” designated hitter rule “allows clubs to use the designated hitter throughout the game provided that the club’s starting pitcher has completed at least five innings. If the starter fails to make it through the fifth, the club then loses the DH for the remainder of the game.”
Another rule involves a single pitcher disengagement per at bat in 2023. While the new MLB rule allows a pitcher to disengage from the pitching rubber twice during an at-bat, the Atlantic League will permit only a single disengagement per at-bat this season.
All three of the new rules, the designated pinch runner rule, pitcher limit of a single disengagement per at bat, and return of the double-hook DH rule will be enforced on Opening Day in the Atlantic League, which is set to kickoff on Apr. 28.
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