Athletics

Why A's Melvin wouldn't mind if new 2020 MLB rules returned

Athletics

The 2020 MLB season was … well, in a word, weird. 

Beyond the shortened 60-game season, and lack of fans, new rules were implemented, and Bob Melvin didn’t mind them too much. As a matter of fact, the A's manager said he would embrace them if they were to return in 2021.

“I actually -- I was a little apprehensive going in with all of them, but I liked all of them, to tell you the truth,” Melvin said Thursday.

The main rule changes negotiated between the league and the MLB Player's Association for the season were:

  • Runner starting on second base: In extra innings, each team will begin with a runner on second base.
  • Universal DH: Both the NL and AL will possess a designated hitter in their lineup. 
  • Seven-inning doubleheaders: With the number of rescheduled games expected to pile up due to coronavirus outbreaks and weather delays, the league made both games of a doubleheader seven-inning contests.
  • Three batter minimum: In an effort to reduce the number of pitching changes, a rule was implemented requiring pitchers face a minimum of three batters in an appearance, or pitch to the end of a half-inning.

Melvin admitted nine-inning doubleheaders could be taxing, and the extra-inning rule proved successful with the A’s. There was a point in the season where Oakland looked as if they once again were the walk-off champs of baseball.

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“I was surprised with how well everybody acclimated to all those rules, and I look to potentially keep all of them,” Melvin said.

Yes, he didn’t mind the universal DH either.

“I do like the difference in the American League and the National League with the DH in one league and not in the other, but I think that worked out in the National League too,” Melvin said. “You know, the one -- if I’m potentially going to toss out -- would be the three-batter minimum, but we didn’t really have too much of a problem with that up until the last series where we were having trouble, period, as far as on pitching end, Houston swung the bat really well against us.”

 

For now, we’re not sure when the 2021 MLB season will start or what 2020 rules will remain in place. 

RELATED: Melvin details A's biggest free agency needs in infield, bullpen

“I’m all for changing in baseball,” Melvin said. “Being an old school guy, I was surprised at how well everybody acclimated and how well I liked the rule changes so if all of them came back next year, I would have no problem with that.”