Proposed in game rule changes
Baseball is the lone sport where once a player is taken out of a game and leaves the field they may not return. It’s time to change this rule.
Now, this is not to say that teams should be permitted to swap players in and out of a game any time they want. However, MLB should implement a rule where a team is allowed to put one position player and one pitcher back in a game after removing them from the game.
People will complain about the addition of the designated hitter to the NL cutting down on some of the strategy to the game. Well, this would be a great way to re-add strategy. Being able to pull a player for a pinch hitter or a pinch runner but then being able to re-add that player to the game adds more strategy. A manager would have to decide when to reinsert that player/pitcher, especially since the player they would replace would not be permitted to return to the game.
Look at times a manager may want a left-handed pitcher to get the two batters out that are not back-to-back in the lineup. There have been times this has led to the pitcher playing in the outfield for a batter or two before returning to the mound. That is something that would become completely null and void if that pitcher was allowed to re-enter the game a few batters down later.
Speaking of pitchers and the batters they face, the three batter minimum rule was never a smart one. Let’s get rid of that too. There have been plenty of instances in recent years since the rule was implemented that pitchers were stuck in a game too long or stuck facing batters they should not have been facing leading to problems for the pitcher and their team. Some times it’s clear a reliever just does not have it that night. In the past managers would have a quick hook with these pitchers now they can not have as quick of a hook.
This would also help create more jobs for players which the MLBPA would support. With the implementation of the three batter minimum rule the LOOGY role has slowly began to die around baseball. The rule change has effectively started the death of the lefty specialists out of the bullpen.
Starting extra innings with a runner on second base would also get a mention here, but Rob Manfred has already stated that will not be part of baseball’s rules long-term. Another rule Manfred has stated he does not expect to keep long-term are 7 inning doubleheaders. That, however, is one rule baseball should keep.