The Atlantic League, which includes the Lancaster Barnstormers, in conjunction with Major League Baseball is enacting more rules for the second half of the season.
Here are the new rules announced in a press release today:
-- Batters may “steal” first base on any pitch not caught in flight (the batter can be thrown out if he attempts to run)
-- Pitcher is required to step off the rubber in order to attempt a pickoff
-- One foul bunt is permitted with two strikes before a strikeout is called
-- And the check swing rule was made more batter-friendly
Should the Atlantic League use the experimental rules?
These new experimental playing rules will be used along with the current rules and equipment changes that were put in place at this season. They include:
-- Home-plate umpire assisted by radar tracking system and an MLB-defined strike zone
-- No mound visits permitted by players or coaches other than pitching changes and medical visits
-- Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters or reach the end of an inning before they can exit the game, unless the pitcher becomes injured
-- Increase size of bases from 15 inches square to 18 inches square
-- Time between innings and pitching changes reduced from 2:05 to 1:45
-- Two infielders must be on each side of second base and no infielder can be on the outfield grass
They were also considering moving the pitching rubber back two feet but have yet to enact that rule.
The experimental playing rules and equipment changes are part of a new three-year agreement between MLB and ALPB. The agreement covers the transfer of players from ALPB to MLB and enhances MLB’s scouting coverage of ALPB games. MLB will continue to provide statistical and radar tracking data from ALPB games to MLB Clubs.
The experimental rules are part of a three-year agreement between the Atlantic League and MLB.
The Atlantic League, which had its All-Star Game Wednesday in York, resumes play Friday.