MESA, Ariz. - Major League Baseball no longer has the "Neighborhood Play," so the Cubs - like every other team - will have to adjust.
The "Neighborhood Play" was essentially to help protect middle infielders trying to turn a double play, as umpires would allow a play to hold up if the player received the ball within the "neighborhood" of second base while avoiding a slide.
That is no longer the case now - players will have to possess the ball while touching the second-base bag. No more benefit of the doubt.
And the play is reviewable, so managers can challenge to determine if the defender was on the bag or not.
Saturday, the Cubs went over the rule change during the team workout, spelling out what infielders need to be aware of.
Joe Maddon doesn't see it as a major adjustment on the Cubs' part.
"I don't think it's gonna be big because I don't want them to do anything except to be aware of that one particular thing," Maddon said. "Do everything you've done to this point, but be aware of the throws off line at all to make sure you get that out at second base instead of just trying to complete a double play where we get nobody out."
As of right now, Ben Zobrist is projected to see the lion's share of the time at second base for the Cubs this season and he doesn't feel the rule change isn't a major deal for him.
"It doesn't really change what I do at second base as far as turning the double play," Zobrist said. "I feel like I pretty clearly stay on the base 99.9 percent of the time.
"Second basemen, it's easier to kind of move around the bag, stay on the bag when you're making the play. I think for shortstops, it's a little tougher because you really have to be conscious coming across the bag that you're at least tapping it with your toe."
Zobrist did admit there was a change that may need to take place in terms of Cubs infielders feeding each other at second base for a possible double play.
Zobrist said he and shortstop Addison Russell didn't get into it in detail, but they will have to be on the same page in terms of feeds and making sure they are timing things properly at the bag.
Maddon belives the biggest thing is just for infielders and baserunners to use common sense.
[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]
Because of the rule changes, Maddon's coaching staff did have to reiterate sliding fundamentals - ensuring Cubs baserunners slide in front of the bag, don't roll and don't kick anybody above the knee while sliding - all things Maddon has said he doesn't want his guys to do anyways, regardless of any rules.
The Cubs ran into something of a controversy late last season when Chris Coghlan slid into second base and broke the leg of Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang in the collision.
Maddon said the new rules "absolutely indicate it was a really good slide" by Coghlan.
As for the rule change in general, Maddon has a simple approach:
"Regardless of if you agree with it or not," he said, "if you think it's good or not or right or wrong - just go play.
"I talked to the guys and I want our guys to continue to play."