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Tampa Bay Rays news and links: MLB sets new rules for 2020 season

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Plus your Rays links

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays
Ozzie Timmons
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Links

  • Sua on the horn
  • Topkin writes that the Rays are built for a marathon, not the sprint 2020 will become
  • Josh Tolentino does a recap of the Rays offseason, and looks at how the delayed start impacts the team in a long read ($)
  • There’s some local trouble as the Phillies (like the Rockies) have COVID issues already
  • Brandon Lowe is ready:
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Let’s go ⚾️ : @sterls_mc

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MLB Sets New Rules

It’s gonna be a strange trickle of information on what rules MLB has put in place, at least until a formal release of the league’s draft operations manual goes live. In the meantime, here’s what we know (as obtained by SB Nation alumni Chris Cotillo):

  • Clubs in both leagues will be able to utilize the designated hitter for all regular season and postseason games.
  • In the regular season (not the postseason), extra innings will be modified so that each half-inning following the ninth inning will begin with a runner on second base until a team wins. The runner placed on second base will be the player who made the last out of the previous inning. Pinch-runners are allowed. Pitchers will not be charged with earned runs if the designated runners score.
  • Position players can pitch at any point during a game, with zero limitations. Before the season was suspended, the league intended to change the rule so that position players could only pitch if a game goes to extra innings, or if their team is winning or losing by more than six runs.
  • Pitchers are allowed to carry a small wet rag in their pocket to be used as a replacement for licking their fingers.
  • The three-batter minimum for pitchers will be enforced.
  • Games that are not official (meaning they didn’t complete five innings) can be suspended and continued at a later date if they end early due to weather. Previously, any game that did not complete five innings would be postponed and restarted from the beginning.
  • The trade deadline will be shifted from July 31 to Aug. 31.

Other details come from Jayson Stark at The Atheltic ($):

VERSUS OWN DIVISION: Every team will play 10 games apiece against each of the other four teams in its division, for a total of 40 games. Those games would largely be broken down into three-game and two-game series.

VERSUS INTERLEAGUE DIVISION: Each club will play a total of 20 games against the corresponding interleague division (i.e., East versus East, Central versus Central, West versus West). Six of those games would be against a team’s interleague “rival” (Yankees-Mets, Cubs-White Sox, etc.). The breakdown of the other 14 games has yet to be finalized, but is expected to involve each team playing two interleague opponents three times apiece and the other two clubs four times apiece.

  • Transactions freeze ends this Friday at noon ET
  • Teams must submit 60-man player pool names by Sunday at 3 ET
  • In-person scouting will be allowed.
  • Teams can take up to 3 taxi squad players on road (but if 3, one must be a catcher)
  • To be eligible for postseason, players must be added to big-league roster by 9/15
  • Season will start with 30-man rosters. Down to 28 after 2 weeks, 26 after 4 weeks.*Pitchers/catchers report to camp first, then position players.

And now, your moments of zen: