Significant Major League Roster Rule Changes

The major leagues have established some significant rule changes that will have an impact on how teams build their rosters for the 2020 season. Below is a list of the rule changes.

1) Teams can expand their roster to 26 players, 27 when playing a double header.

2) Of those roster players only 13 can be pitchers. To be identified as a pitcher a player must have pitched in at least 20 innings in a major league game during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Myworld is not aware of a restriction on the number of position players a team can have on their major league roster, but to be designated as a position player he must have played in at least 20 games and accumulated at least three plate appearances in each of those games. This seems to eliminate games in which a player had less than three plate appearances, which means you cannot assume that because a player has appeared in 20 games and has 60 plate appearances he qualifies as a position player.

3) A position player cannot appear in a game to pitch until after the ninth inning or if a team is ahead or behind by more than six runs.

4) Pitchers must face at least three batters or finish an inning when they make an appearance on the mound. An exception would be made for a pitcher that suffered an injury prior to him facing three hitters. This appears to eliminate the lefthanded pitching specialist strategy.

5) When September rolls around you can only have a maximum of 28 players on the roster. This eliminates the September callup rule, but teams can still massage this restriction by using their full 40 man roster in September, just like they do in the regular season. They will have to find players who have options available and rotate players up and down in September, knowing that if a player is optioned down they cannot be called up for ten days unless for injury. Just like the regular season there could be a number of players designated for assignment as teams try to manage their rosters.

6) The amount of time players must spend on the disabled list has been raised from 10 to 15 days.

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