Friday, March 25, 2022

Atlantic League Rules for 2022 - DH, Hits for Wild Pitches

MLB's partnership with the Atlantic League continues with two experimental rules announced for 2022: the Double-Hook Designated Hitter Adjustment and Dropped Pitch Rule that awards base hits to batters who steal first base on wild pitches.

Major League Baseball announced the test changes, touting positive results through testing rules "that many baseball fans routinely discuss and want to learn more about."
"Many baseball fans" couldn't be reached for comment.

The ALPB 2022 season's rules experiments are as follows:

> Double-Hook Designated Hitter Adjustment. First introduced alongside the rule moving the pitcher's mound back by one foot in 2021 (a change that didn't make it to the end of the season), the Atlantic League's double-hook DH rule held that a team would only retain the designated hitter for as long as the starting pitcher remained in the game: Once the starting pitcher was removed, the DH terminated and the substitute player would have to bat for themself.

In 2022, the double-hook DH rule adjustment allows a team to keep its DH for the entire game if the starting pitcher completes five innings on the mound, while the team would lose its DH if the started fails to complete five innings of work. MLB's equivalent might be informally deemed the "Shohei Ohtani Rule."

> Dropped Pitch Rule. First introduced in 2019 as "batters may steal first base," this rule states that a batter may attempt to acquire first base on any pitched ball not caught by the catcher.

A batter thus becomes a runner if the following criteria are met: "(i) a pitch, swung at [but not fouled] or taken [but not a hit-by-pitch or fourth ball], is not caught by the catcher, and (ii) both of the batter's feet leave the batter's box, and (iii) the batter, in the umpire's judgment, demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to first base. If first base is occupied when the batter chooses to become a runner this creates a force play." New for 2022, batters who arrive at first base safely will be awarded a hit (previously this was a wild pitch or passed ball).
Related PostAtlantic League Debuts New Rules, E-Zone (7/10/19).


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