Minor League Baseball Implements New Extra-Innings Rule

After experimenting with the international extra-inning tie breaker rule last year in the Complex Leagues, MiLB announced today that the rule will take effect across all of Minor League Baseball this season:

The change came about as part of a wider set of procedures designed to speed up the game.  The extra-innings rule will see the last out (or a substitute) from the 9th inning begin the 10th inning on 2nd Base.  If that runner scores, it will not be charged as an Earned Run to the Pitcher.

The rule is designed to protect minor league pitching staffs.  Minor league teams do not have the luxury of calling up a player from a lower level as easily as MLB teams do, which means in the event of an extra inning game in the past,  teams were short pitchers in the days after games that went past 9, or they had to put a position player in to Pitch.

Reaction across baseball has been mixed:

While the extra-innings rule really isn’t about pace of play, it does make sense this day and age of carefully monitored pitch and innings limits.  If the Blue Jays need a fresh bulllpen arm or two after a marathon game, help is available 90 minutes down the QEW.  If Lansing needs the same help, it has to come from Vancouver, Or Bluefield, WV. It is somewhat gimmicky, however, akin to the shootout in Olympic hockey games.  The good news for fans is that with 40-man rosters, the rule is not coming to MLB anytime soon.  If you needed a reminder that minor league baseball is about development over winning, this was a friendly reminder.

I like this Tweet best of all as a way to wrap this post up:

 

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