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MLB, MLBPA Discussing Rule Change Regarding Position Players Pitching


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 Jesse Rogers of ESPN reporting that a change to the rules on position players pitching is being discussed by the league and the players.

Teams will occasionally put a position player on the mound when the result of a game already seems determined in a large blowout. The decision is usually about not using an actual member of the pitching staff in a game that where the odds of changing the outcome are extremely low, thus sparing them the extra usage.

However, it was thought by many that the sight was becoming far too common and rules were implemented to limit its usage. Going into the 2020 season, each player was designated as either a pitcher, position player or two-way player. To earn two-way status, the player had to pitch at least 20 innings and start at least 20 games as either a position player or designated hitter, in either the current season or the previous one. Position players were only allowed to take the mound in certain situations, if their team was winning or losing by at least six runs, or if the game went to extra innings.

Rogers reports that the rule hasn’t worked, with the problem actually becoming worse, with 32 instances of position players pitching in 2017 but 132 times last year. 


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The rule that saw a free runner placed on second base in extra innings last year will continue in 2023 and beyond, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPN. Also, position players will only be allowed to pitch in extra innings, or in the ninth inning for a leading team that is up by ten or more runs or anytime for a trailing team that is down by eight or more. MLB’s Joint Competition Committee voted unanimously for both measures.

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