The Journal Gazette
Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:00 am

Baseball notebook

Rule changes set for this season

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NEW YORK – Major League Baseball went ahead with its planned rules changes for this season, including the requirement a pitcher must face at least three batters or end the half-inning, unless he is hurt.

The changes were agreed to by MLB and the players' association March 8, subject to the study of a joint committee.

The active roster limit will increase by one to 26 from opening day through Aug. 31, will drop from 40 to 28 through the end of the regular season and return to 26 for the postseason.

Position players are prohibited from pitching through the ninth inning unless the player's team is winning or losing by six or more runs when he takes the mound.

The injured list and option recall minimum period for pitchers will increase from 10 days to 15.

Managers' time to challenge a play with a video review has been cut from 30†seconds to 20.

Epstein: Bryant excited for camp

Theo Epstein claims there are “no hard feelings on either side” in the relationship between the Cubs and Kris Bryant.

Bryant's grievance against the team was denied by arbitrator Mark Irvings, who ruled the players' association did not prove Chicago's reasons for holding the third baseman in the minors at the start of the 2015 season were a pretext to push back his eligibility for free agency.

“I've had a good text exchange with KB, checking in here recently, and whether it's the trade rumors or the grievance matter, there are no hard feelings on either side,” Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operations, said Tuesday. “He's excited to report to camp later this week.”

A three-time All-Star and the 2016 NL MVP, Bryant is eligible for free agency after the 2021 season.

Extra bases

Detroit agreed on a $1.5†million, one-year contract with 32-year-old outfielder Cameron Maybin.†Maybin began his career with the Tigers in 2007 before he was traded to the Marlins in the deal that sent Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers. Maybin returned to Detroit in a trade and played for the Tigers in 2016. ...

Dodgers reliever Pedro BŠez won his salary arbitration and will earn $4 million rather than the team's offer of $3.5†million. ...

Fernando Tatis Jr. is open to playing center field, should the Padres ask. The former TinCap confirmed Wednesday that the subject had not been broached. “Not ever,” he said. “If they need me out there, I would go out there.” ...

Wilmer Flores and the Giants finalized a $6.25†million, two-year contract Wednesday. ...

Braves left-hander Cole Hamels won't be ready for the start of the season after hurting his pitching shoulder during an offseason workout. General manager Alex Anthopoulos says Hamels will be shut down for at least three weeks.

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