5 things to know about the 60-game 2020 MLB season
After weeks of negotiations, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred mandated that a 60-game regular season get underway in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
While the league owners and the MLBPA may not have come to the most agreeable of terms just to get the season started, baseball fans can still find solace from the fact that their favorite sport is still about to commence despite the former threat of total postponement.
That being said, here are the five things we need to know about the proposed shortened 2020 MLB regular season, as laid down by Nitrogen Sports Blog.
1. Season Timeline
The tentative schedule proposed by Manfred and the league owners starts as early as the upcoming month, with a truncated and delayed version of spring training set to commence on July 1. The regular-season proper is expected to start either on July 23 or 24 shortly after the brief training camp session. August 31 is also the proposed trade deadline.
2. Roster Composition
Teams are required to submit a 60-man roster for “spring training” and that number will be whittled down to a 30-man roster by the time the regular season starts. It’s also been proposed that the 30-man team roster will be further reduced to just 26 active members after a month into the season.
All players who made the initial 60-man cut are expected to be paid accordingly for their time spent during the recruitment process. Furthermore, transactions will once again be allowed on Friday 26 at noon in order for teams to start building up their rosters before training camp.
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3. Coronavirus-specific Precautionary Measures
Apart from what has become customary with a lot of other active sports leagues around the world (little to no live crowds in attendance; quarantine efforts of the highest care and efficiency), the MLB will have an inactive list specifically reserved for players infected by COVID-19. Unlike the normal injury list, players may return to action anytime that they’ve been cured of the virus.
4. Rule Changes
The biggest change for this upcoming season is that designated hitters will take the pitcher’s place in the batting order league-wide, which means teams from the National League will play by the American League’s DH rules. The second notable change is that a team has to put a base-runner on second base during the start of every half of extra innings to presumably make tied games in regulation end faster than usual.
5. Replacement Players Mid-Season
As per The Athletic’s Jayson Stark, MLB officials are also looking to have two teams composed of unsigned players from training camp as possible mid-season replacement players. The league is currently in talks with the City of Nashville as the possible location for players from these two separate teams to stay in shape while still receiving compensation from the rest of the active MLB teams.