MLB News: Update for 6/30/20
Photo by Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Daily MLB News for June 30, 2020
MLB News and Updates
Here’s your daily roundup of all the current MLB news that’s affecting the proposed 2020 season. Today we’re checking in on players and situations around the league as baseball gets going again. Let’s get right to it with the latest MLB updates. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Players Begin Opting Out - It’s been a few days since the MLB announced its plans for the 2020 season. It’ll be a 60-game schedule, beginning July 23 or 24. MLB staff and the players themselves will begin reporting to team facilities on Wednesday, and can start full workouts on Friday. With that news have come scattered reports of players opting out of the season due to health and safety concerns. Let’s look at a few.
The Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross have been confirmed as not returning in 2020. The Diamondbacks’ Mike Leake and the Rockies’ Ian Desmond have opted out as well. There are sure to be more names coming through as players weigh their personal feelings on playing this season, so we’ll keep you updated.
MLB 2020 Season Rule Changes - On Monday, the MLB released new health and safety protocols for the planned season. There are a few weird items in there which will take some getting used to, so let’s see if we can get a feel for those.
In addition to all the fun “medical testing and screening process” stuff that players and staff have to go through before entering training, there are a couple of on-field points that stick out. The big one is the addition of the designated hitter across the MLB. National League-team fans will have some strong feelings about that change, as it’s the first time the position has been implemented. Is it still a good idea for pitcher health/safety’s sake? Probably yes, even if it’s quite heavy-handed from the baseball sanctity perspective.
Another rule that’s riling up baseball fans will occur during extra-innings games. Any time a tie game goes into the 10th and beyond, a runner will be placed at second base. This is an effort to speed up the conclusion of games and also implemented under the “health and safety of the players” label. Still, it’s pretty tough to find a longtime baseball fan who agrees wholeheartedly with this one.
There will also be a three-batter minimum rule for pitchers this season. That will change up the strategy of bullpen usage, as teams won’t be able to use a good RP matchup to strike out one guy. Speaking of pitchers and rule changes, while on the mound, players will be allowed to carry a wet rag in their pockets as an alternative to licking their fingers.
One other notable rule change for the 2020 MLB season is a ban on “spitting items.” That designation includes peanut shells, sunflower seeds and tobacco, but gum is still permitted. Frankly, no spitting in baseball sounds strange, but I don’t think too many people will miss it.