How Cubs could be impacted by MLB’s latest 2020-only rule change

/ by Tim Stebbins
Presented By Cubs Insiders

MLB made another 2020-only rule change and it could affect the Cubs’ schedule.

Friday, MLB announced an agreement with the players union to shorten doubleheaders to seven innings for the rest of the 2020 regular season, beginning Saturday. 

In wake of the Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 schedule may feature numerous doubleheaders going forward, should the league attempt to make up every game. Miami and the Phillies haven’t played since Sunday, and the Marlins games are postponed through this week. Philadelphia — originally slated to return Saturday — canceled all team activities at Citizens Bank Park Thursday “until further notice.”

The Cardinals game against the Brewers Friday was postponed due to two positive COVID-19 tests and now is scheduled for a doubleheader on Sunday.

With doubleheaders necessary to complete as many games as possible, shortening them to seven innings will reduce some wear and tear on pitchers. 

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The Cubs had their first game postponed Thursday due to inclement weather in Cincinnati. They have a mutual day off with the Reds on Aug. 10, with the Cubs then playing in Cleveland Aug. 11-12 while Cincinnati opens a six-game homestand.

Thursday’s game could be made up Aug. 10, but it’s also both teams’ first day off of the season. Therefore, MLB could elect to schedule a doubleheader the weekend of Aug. 28-30, when the Cubs return to Great American Ballpark.

As of Thursday, no makeup date for the rainout has been announced.

MLB has instituted numerous 2020-only rule changes, including starting all extra innings with a runner on second base, expanded rosters and regionalized schedules. If a doubleheader game eclipses seven innings, a runner will be placed on second base from the eighth inning onward.