Philadelphia Phillies proper fielder Bryce Harper (3) spits after placing out through the sport between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals on September 25, 2019, at Nationals Park, in Washington D.C.
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Main League Baseball on Monday launched its new well being and security protocols, which embody “distinctive options” akin to banning gamers from spitting and lengthening the designated hitter place, because the league prepares to open its 2020 season amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The MLB stated summer season camps would open Wednesday and all gamers and employees shall be required to undergo “medical testing and screening processes earlier than coming into Membership amenities.” Full exercises will begin Friday, with Opening Day video games scheduled for July 23 and July 24.
Additionally, on- and off-the-field tips shall be altered for the shortened season. Modifications and additions embody the designated hitter, added to the Nationwide League for the primary time in MLB historical past. The designated hitter position is generally used within the American League solely.
After failing to achieve an settlement on video games and pay construction, the MLB and its gamers’ union settled on a 60-game season that may encompass “enjoying 40 divisional video games and 20 Interleague video games in opposition to the corresponding geographical division,” in line with the league launch.
However as plans to open the season this week are finalized, some gamers are deciding to not return. On Monday, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake stated by way of his agent he will not return this yr, the AP reported. Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman additionally pulled out of the season, citing household issues.
Different 2020 regular-season adjustments embody:
An additional-innings rule that enables golf equipment to have a runner positioned on second base.
Inclusion of the three-batter minimal rule that requires pitchers to face a minimal of three batters earlier than being substituted.
A ban on spitting objects, together with sunflower seeds, peanut shells or tobacco. Chewing gum is allowed.
Pitchers shall be allowed to hold moist rags of their again pockets for use for moisture as a substitute of licking their fingers.
The MLB suspended operations on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league expects to complete the 2020 season by mid-October.